A chalazion is a lump in the eyelid that is caused by inflammation of a gland within the skin. Typically, this lump grows over days to weeks and is occasionally red, warm, or painful.
The gland involved in the formation of a chalazion is a modified sweat gland that lies within the eyelid. This gland produces oil. When this gland becomes blocked, it can rupture and the inflammation process begins.
A chalazion is caused by the oil in the gland becoming too thick to flow out of the gland. This oil that is too thick blocks up the gland, but the gland still produces more oil.
Without anywhere to go, the oil builds up inside the gland and forms a lump in the eyelid. Eventually, the gland ruptures (breaks open) and releases the oil into the tissue of the eyelid, causing inflammation.
Your ophthalmologist takes a medical history and performs a physical examination. The examination includes an inspection of the back of the eyelid and the eye itself. The ophthalmologist also tests your vision.
If the swelling has lasted more than a few weeks, your ophthalmologist may recommend surgery to remove the chalazion.
Treatment of the chalazion may include the following: