What Are Chalazions?
Your eyelids have small glands that produce oil to lubricate your eyes. When one of these glands becomes blocked, it can cause swelling and inflammation. This is called a chalazion. Chalazions can often be confused with a stye, which looks and feels similar. Styes, however, are caused by an infection of an eyelash follicle that becomes sore and swollen. A chalazion will tend to occur further down from the lash line than a stye and points towards the inside of the eyelid. In some cases, the entire eyelid swells with a chalazion, but you’ll notice a distinct tender spot.
Chalazions will often go away on their own if they are small and don’t cause symptoms. However, large chalazions can cause your vision to become blurry. There are a few different treatment methods available, and patients often benefit from a combination of these options:
- Warm compress. This easy, at-home method can be performed by soaking a clean, soft washcloth in hot water and holding it against your closed eye. This can be done for five to ten minutes a few times throughout the day. It’s important to repeatedly soak the washcloth so it stays hot. This, done for a few weeks, can help the chalazion disappear on its own. For additional at-home treatment, your eye doctor might recommend an antibiotic ointment.
- Surgical excision. In more severe cases where a large chalazion doesn’t respond to other treatment options, it can be surgically removed.
In most cases, chalazions are easily treated. However, they can reoccur for some patients, so you should be sure to work with your ophthalmologist who can perform a biopsy to check for more serious problems.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What do you do when a chalazion wont go away?
The first step is to try to treat a chalazion with medication. If that is not effective, then you can choose to either have your chalazion excised or receive a steroid injection.
Will eye drops help a chalazion?
Antibiotic eye drops can treat a chalazion and keep it from getting bigger.
How long does it take for an eye chalazion to go away?
If treated right away, a chalazion can heal within a week. However, if left untreated, it can take 4-6 weeks for the chalazion to go away.
Can a chalazion be permanent?
Chalazion can be individually treated and removed, but they may reoccur.
Will a chalazion burst on its own?
A chalazion can spontaneously pop on its own and potentially release a thick discharge into the eye.
How do doctors drain a chalazion?
Your doctor will numb the area with a local anesthetic and then make a small incision in the chalazion cyst to excise it.
Do tea bags help Chalazions?
Applying a warm tea bag to the chalazion is a common at-home remedy and by acting as a warm compress, tea bags may help the chalazion drain on its own.
Can Chalazions be caused by stress?
Although there is no scientific evidence that identifies stress as a cause of chalazions, stress can weaken the immune system and make you susceptible to infections such as chalazion.
Can medication help a chalazion?
Antibiotic eye ointments or prescription pills can treat a chalazion or keep it from getting bigger.