• Chalazion

    Definition

    A chalazion is a hard bump that forms on the eyelid.
    Chalazion
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    Causes

    A chalazion can form when the duct leading from a gland of the eyelid becomes blocked. This gland produces an oily substance. The this oil that lubricates the margins of the eyelid and the front of the eye. When the duct becomes blocked, the oily substance can harden. This causes a chalazion to form near the edge of the eyelid. This condition can become recur.

    Risk Factors

    Factors that increase your risk for a chalazion:

    Symptoms

    The initial symptom is a small swelling on the eyelid. It may look like a stye. It may or may not be painful. After a few days, the swelling on the eyelid often begins to harden. The bump grow slowly into a hard lump.
    A chalazion can cause complications, though not often. Complications may include:
    • Localized infection at the site of the chalazion
    • Visual problems due to the chalazion pushing against and distorting the shape of the eye

    Diagnosis

    Your doctor will ask about your symptoms. An eye exam will be done. Rarely, a sample of fluid from the chalazion is taken and tested in a lab.

    Treatment

    A chalazion will often disappear on its own. Treatment may include:

    Self Care

    A warm compresses is applied to the affected eyelid several times a day. Follow with gentle massage.

    Medication

    Corticosteroid is injected into the chalazion. This is done by an ophthalmologist, but is rarely required. Antibiotics may also be used if a an infection develops.

    Surgery

    An incision may be made near the chalazion to allow it to drain. The procedure is usually performed in the office with a local anesthetic. Surgery may be done if the chalazion does not respond to other treatments. It may also be considered if the chalazion is very large, grows rapidly, or causes vision problems.

    Prevention

    If you have seborrheic dermatitis or blepharitis wash your eyelids daily with warm water and very mild soap. Baby shampoo often works well. If you have been given specific instructions by your doctor for washing your eyelids follow those instructions.
    Consider applying a warm compresses to your eye at the first sign of eyelid irritation.

    RESOURCES

    American Academy of Family Physicians http://www.aafp.org

    American Academy of Ophthalmology http://www.aao.org

    National Eye Institute http://www.nei.nih.gov

    CANADIAN RESOURCES

    Canadian Association of Optometrists http://www.opto.ca/

    Canadian Health Network http://www.canadian-health-network.ca/

    References

    American Optometric Association website. Available at: http://www.aoa.org/Chalazion.xml . Accessed December 28, 2012.

    Chalazion. American Academy of Ophthalmology EyeSmart website. Available at: http://www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/chalazion-stye.cfm . Accessed December 28, 2012.

    Chalazion. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://dynamed.ebscohost.com/about/about-us . Updated December 22, 2011. Accessed December 28, 2012.

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