19671 Beach Blvd. Suite 400 Huntington Beach, California 92648
Along the upper and lower eyelids are a number of glands that manufacture part of the tear film that protects and lubricates the eyeball. If one of these glands becomes blocked, a small lump forms. This is call a Chalazion (Chalazia, plural)
Chalazia may vary in size from small, almost invisible lumps to rather large masses as big as a little fingernail. Sometimes tender in their early stages, they are later painless and frequently will form a firm swelling in the lid. This lump can distort the eyeball, causing blurred vision if left untreated.
Chalazia are NOT caused by infection. They may become a site for infection once they have become established, however.
Their exact cause remains unknown. Several conditions are associated with chalazia: seborrhea, chronic lid inflammation, dry eyes, and acne. Once a chalazion has formed, the chances of getting another one in the next two years is high.
Most chalazia will disappear in a few weeks without any surgical therapy. To help them go away, frequent hot packs throughout the day and drops are helpful, especially in the early stages. In some cases, oral medications can help prevent recurrences.
If a chalazion persists, a simple in-office surgical procedure can be performed to remove it. The chalazion is drained from the inside of the lid after a small injection of local anesthetic. There is no visible scar and healing is rapid and painless. Often the eye is patched overnight to insure proper healing.