By Princeton Eye and Ear
July 20, 2015
Category: Ophthalmology
Tags: Chalazion  

ChalazionEye conditions can be problematic, disheartening and downright scary. Watching a painful area of the eyelid turn to a large, pea-sized cyst can be alarming, but this condition, called a chalazion, occurs in many people and sometimes even disappears on its own. While it may look severe, it is manageable.

What is a Chalazion?
A chalazion is a condition attributed to a blocked oil gland in the eyelid. It is more common in adults, especially those who are 30 to 50 years old. A chalazion begins as a swollen, tender lump in the area of the eyelid, and, within a few days, turns to a painless cyst. While they sometimes are tiny and even unable to be seen, a Chalazion can grow to be the size of a pea. In cases where chalazia grow to bigger sizes, blurred vision may occur if the cyst is large enough to push against the eyeball itself.

Chalazion vs Stye
While a chalazion may occur after a stye, the two are generally unrelated and often confused. A stye’s symptoms are quite similar to a chalazion, but styes usually occur near or on the rim of the eyelid, where chalazia occur on the eyelid itself, more often on the top lid than the bottom. In addition, chalazia can grow to be much bigger than a normal stye, and styes are usually much more tender than chalazia.

How is a Chalazion treated? 
While most chalazia go away without any treatment within a few weeks, requiring little to no medical attention. Warm compresses can be used to promote softening of the blocked oils, allowing them to drain, and thus healing. Compresses should consist of a cloth dipped in warm water and applied to the affected area for 10 to 15 minutes several times a day. Massaging the area around the cyst can also help to promote drainage.

When is medical attention necessary?
If the chalazion does not disappear by itself within a month, an appointment with your doctor should be scheduled. Usually, medical treatment will require steroid drops or injections, with more severe cases being surgically opened and drained.

If you have questions or concerns, or are experiencing severe pain or blurred vision, a doctor’s consultation is recommended. Chetan S. Shah, MD and the staff at Princeton Eye and Ear in Lawrenceville, NJ are practiced in treating Chalazion and a variety of other eye and ear conditions. Committed to providing professional and compassionate care to all of their patients, Princeton Eye and Ear can help you on your journey to a healthy body. Call to schedule an appointment today.