WHAT IS A CHALAZION?
The term chalazion comes from the Greek word "small lump". It refers to a small cyst on the eyelid caused by chronic inflammation of the small sebaceous glands (producing oily secretion) called meibomian glands, located in the upper and lower eyelids.
Sometimes, a chalazion is confused with a stye (tiny abscess), which also has the appearance of a lump in the eyelid. A stye is an abscess caused by an acute bacterial infection of the eyelash follicle and causes a painful red bump near the edge of the eyelid. A chalazion is generally a response to the obstruction of fat secretion, usually secondary to a stye or in patients suffering from blepharitis (swelling of the free edge of the eyelids). The chalazion tends to develop farther from the edge of the eyelid than the stye and tends to protrude into the eyelid. Occasionally, the chalazion can cause inflammation of the entire eyelid.
HOW IS A CHALAZION TREATED?
When the chalazion is small and has no symptoms, it may disappear by itself. Generally it is not cured without treatment. If the chalazion is large, it can cause blurred vision by distorting the eye surface.
The chalazion can be treated with the combination of the following methods:
1. Antibiotic and / or steroid drops and ointments.
2. Warm towel compress: it can be applied in several ways. The simplest way is to get a clean towel, soaked in hot water, press it on top of the closed eyelid for 5-10 min., 3-4 times a day. Soak the towel repeatedly in hot water to keep the right temperature.
3. Massage of glandular secretions.
4. Surgical treatment
The chalazion usually responds well to treatment, but there are people prone to recurrences and may require ongoing medication. If the recurrence is in the same place, you should visit your ophthalmologist to get the chalazion biopsied in order to rule out a more serious problem.