A chalazion, which is a small lump on your eyelid, may not cause you too much trouble, but it’s always worth having it checked out, especially if it’s not going away. The experienced team of optometrists at Insight Eye Care, in Williamsville and Lockport, New York, are experts in assessing eye health problems and providing effective treatment solutions, so for any concerns you have about your eyes, call Insight Eye Care today or book an appointment online.
A chalazion develops because of a blockage in the eyelid’s oil gland, causing swelling and a slow-growing lump. A chalazion typically starts as a small, tender spot on the eyelid that looks red and swollen; then after a couple of days, the pain subsides, leaving a pea-sized lump.
A chalazion is similar to a stye (hordeolum), but while a stye develops because of an infection in the oil gland, chalazia are blockages that aren’t due to infection. However, styes that are left untreated can sometimes cause a chalazion to form.
Once the initial inflammation caused by the chalazion subsides, you’re left with a small lump, usually in the upper eyelid. Other symptoms you may experience include:
Adults are more likely to develop a chalazion, with people between the ages of 30 and 50 being most likely to have the condition.
The blockage that leads to a chalazion forming is more likely if you have:
In rare cases, a chalazion may indicate the development of skin cancer.
Your optometrist at Insight Eye Care can examine the lump under special lighting using magnification to determine if it’s a chalazion.
In many cases, chalazia disappear naturally over a few weeks or months. You can use a warm compress on your eye to help soften the blockage of oil that’s causing the chalazion.
Apply the compress for 10-15 minutes for up to six times a day, making sure the compress is warm enough to soften the oil and help it to drain away. Gently massaging your eyelids can also help drainage.
Once the blockage is gone, and your chalazion drains, keep it clean and don’t touch your eyes with your hands.
Sometimes a chalazion doesn’t drain, but don’t be tempted to try and squeeze it, as this may cause additional damage. Make an appointment with your optometrist instead by calling Insight Eye Care, or book using the online tool.