Your eyelid has tiny glands that produce an oily substance to help keep your eyes moist. When one of those glands gets blocked, you can wind up with a chalazion, a swollen, pain-free gland. Usually you can treat a chalazion at home.
A chalazion is a red bump on your eyelid. It is sometimes called an eyelid cyst or a meibomian cyst. It slowly forms when an oil gland (called a meibomian) becomes blocked.
At first, the chalazion may be painful, but after a little time, it usually doesn’t hurt. A chalazion usually forms on the upper eyelids but may occasionally form on the lower eyelid.
Ordinarily, chalazia (the plural of chalazion) develop in adults between the ages of 30 and 50. They are not common in children, but they can happen.
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A chalazion is not a stye, but it can form because of a stye. Styes are bacterial infections that cause the gland to swell. Styes can be painful. A chalazion generally isn’t painful and appears farther back on the eyelid.
Chalazia may develop when something blocks a small oil gland in the eyelid. These glands help keep the eye moist. A blocked gland begins retaining oil and swells. Eventually, the fluid will drain, and you may have a hard lump on your eyelid.
Some additional causes of chalazia are:
When you have a chalazion, you will notice the following symptoms:
You will usually see an eye specialist when you have a chalazion. You might see an optometrist or an ophthalmologist. These healthcare providers can examine the chalazion and offer treatment options.
When you see the eye specialist, you should expect:
In most cases, you can treat a chalazion at home. Most chalazia go away in a month or less.
First, never push on a chalazion or try to pop it. You can injure your eye. Instead, for home treatment, try:
If the chalazion doesn’t go away, you should seek help from an eye specialist. The chalazion may need to have the fluid drained through a small incision. You may also need an injection of steroids to reduce swelling and inflammation.
You may be able to avoid getting a chalazion by following good hygiene. Some essential elements of good hygiene include:
With proper home management, a chalazion should heal in a week. If left untreated, it can take four to six weeks for the chalazion to heal.
If you have one chalazion, you may get another. Always practice good hygiene to help prevent future chalazia.
If you have a chalazion that doesn’t go away with home treatment, see an eye specialist. They will be able to examine the eye and offer additional treatment options. You should also see your healthcare provider if you have recurring chalazia (eyelid bumps that come back).
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Keeping your eyes healthy is important for your vision and quality of life. Sometimes, though, things like styes and chalazia happen. While these troublesome eye problems can be unsightly, they are very treatable at home. Talk to your healthcare provider about things you can do to avoid these pesky eye problems.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 02/24/2021.
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