What is a Chalazion?
A Chalazion is a very common eye disease which is usually characterized by swelling and/or nodule of the eyelid. It occurs more often on the upper eyelid versus the lower eyelid. This is secondary to the greater number of meibomian glands in the upper eyelid. The prevalence is equal among men and women.
What Causes a Chalazion?
The meibomian glands are sebaceous glands located in the eyelids. They secrete lipids or oily-like substances into the tear film on the eye. This is a necessary component of the normal tear film of the eye. If the openings of the meibomian glands become obstructed, the meibomian gland secretions are blocked and build up inside the gland. They can eventually spread into the eyelid tissues leading to an inflammatory granulomatous reaction which leads to the formation of a lipogranuloma.
Risk Factors Associated with a Chalazion
Inflammation of the eyelids
Poor eyelid hygiene
Diagnosis of a Chalazion
The person usually complains of a gradual swelling of the eyelid. It may be associated with redness, inflammation, painful or non-painful nodule in the eyelid.
Many patients have a reoccurrences and therefore may have a history of prior chalazions.
Examination of the eyelids will confirm the presence of a swollen eyelid and/or nodule in the eyelid. Patients may have more than one chalazion at a time on the same eyelid of different eyelid.
Other Causes of a Swollen Eyelid
Treatment of Chalazions
Conservative treatments involve using warm compresses for 15 minutes four times a day. Eyelid message may be helpful. Eye medications such as an antibiotics and corticosteroids can be used if there is any inflammation or possible infection present.
Other Treatments of Chalazions
Injection of a corticosteroid into the chalazion is very successful in many cases.
Tetracycline or Doxycycline given by mouth can be useful in people with recurrent chalazions.
Surgery for Chalazions
Surgery may be considered if the chalazion does not resolve with conservative treatment or if it is large and the patient desires to have it removed.
A local anesthetic is injected around the area of the chalazion. An eyelid clamp is placed on the eyelid and the eyelid is turned out. The incision is made on the inside of the eyelid and a curette is used to clean out the chalazion. Pressure is applied to the eyelid after the clamp is removed. An antibiotic eye drop is prescribed to be used after the surgery.
Most patients do very well with the various methods of treatment and their chalazions resolve.