A chalazion also known as a meibomian gland lipogranuloma, is a cyst in the eyelid that is caused by inflammation of the meibomian gland, usually on the upper eyelid. A chalazion is usually a reaction to trapped oil secretions and not caused by bacteria, although the site can become secondarily infected by bacteria. A chalazion may eventually disappear on its own after a few months, though more often than not, some treatment is necessary. If the chalazion is large, it may cause blurred vision by distorting the shape of the eye. A chalazion is sometimes confused with a stye which also appears as a lump in the eyelid. Chalazions usually occur farther from the edge of the eyelid than styes, and tend to "point" toward the nose side of the eyelid. A stye is an acute inflammatory infection of an eyelash follicle and forms a red, sore lump near the edge of the lid margin.
A chalazion is a persistent inflammation or swelling of the upper or lower eyelid. (Chalazion is the Greek word for "hailstone" which represents the size of the lump that makes up the cyst.) The usually painless, grainy (granulomatous) mass is due to inflammation, obstruction, and retained secretions of one of the glands that lubricates the edge of the eyelids. These glands secrete sebum, an oily, protective fluid. If one or more of the ducts that drain these glands is blocked, the sebum accumulates under the skin to form a cyst. In rare cases, if the cyst is large, blurred vision may result due to pressure on the cornea, the front, clear portion of the eye through which light passes. In some affected individuals, chalazia may disappear spontaneously. However, in other cases, treatment may be required. Individuals with chronic inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis) may be prone to recurrences.
Causes of Chalazion
The common Causes of Chalazion :
- Seborrheic dermatitis.
- Acne rosacea.
- Blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids).
- High blood lipid concentrations (possible risk from increased blockage of sebaceous glands).
- Viral infection
- Carcinoma .
Symptoms of Chalazion
Some common Symptoms of Chalazion :
- Sensitivity to light.
- Swelling on the eyelid.
- Often red.
- Increased tearing.
- Eyelid tenderness.
- Blurred vision.
Treatment of Chalazion
- Incision and curettage by an ophthalmologist.
- Applying warm, wet compresses to your child's eyes for a period of approximately 15 minutes, several times throughout the day.
- Instructing your child not to squeeze or rub the chalazion.
- Antibiotic drops for the eye.
- Having your child wash his/her hands frequently.
- Injection of a corticosteroid into the chalazion. This is done by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist), but is rarely required. Topical antibiotics can be used if a secondary infection of the chalazion develops.