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What is a Chalazion?

How well your eyes are able to function is only part of your eye health. The structures that surround your eyes, including your eyelids, play crucial roles in enabling your vision. This also means there’s opportunity for problems to develop in these areas, which is certainly the case with a chalazion.

One of our team’s overriding goals here at Beraja Medical Institute is to ensure that our patients better understand their eye health so that they’re able to recognize problems early on. To that end, we explore what a chalazion is, how to identify one, and the steps we can take to remedy the issue.

A bumpy, but mostly minor, problem

Your eyelids are designed to protect your eyes, and they also house critical oil glands that preserve your eye health by holding water against your eye. If one of these glands becomes clogged, it can lead to a bump in either your upper or lower eyelid, which is called a chalazion.

The bump may not be noticeable at first, but the longer your oil gland remains clogged, the larger the bump can become. In some cases, a chalazion can get infected, causing a portion of your eyelid to redden and swell (it’s rare that your entire eyelid swells). Even less commonly, the chalazion may grow large enough to press against your eye, which can cause blurry vision.

Unlike a stye, a chalazion doesn’t usually cause any pain, unless it becomes infected and swells.

Treating a chalazion

If you notice a painless bump on your eye, one of the best first steps to take is to apply a warm compress to the area to try and unclog your oil glands. Whatever you do, don’t try and pop the bump as you would a pimple, as that can lead to more serious problems like infection.

If you place a warm compress on your chalazion for 10-15 minutes at a time, many times throughout the day, you should notice a reduction in its size as the bump slowly drains. You can also try gently massaging the area in order to encourage your oil glands to open back up.

If your chalazion proves stubborn or becomes painful, we urge you to come see us so that we can take a look. Typically, we can diagnose a chalazion visually and supply you with special eye drops or creams.

In rare cases, a chalazion may not respond to these treatments, in which case we can administer a steroid injection to reduce the inflammation. If that proves ineffective, we can surgically remove the chalazion and free up your oil gland.

Please understand that surgical intervention isn’t common, and we’re usually able to clear up your chalazion using far more conservative and noninvasive treatments.

If you have a troublesome chalazion, please call our office in Coral Gables, Florida at 786-899-2516, or schedule an appointment online.

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