A chalazion develops when a meibomian gland, responsible for producing oils that lubricate the eye, becomes blocked and inflamed. This blockage leads to the formation of a painless lump under the eyelid, which can grow in size and cause redness, warmth, and tenderness.

In some cases, especially if the chalazion persists or grows larger, surgical removal may be necessary to alleviate symptoms and prevent complications. However, initial management typically involves applying warm compresses to the affected eyelid to help soften and release the blockage, promoting natural drainage and resolution of the chalazion over time.


Symptoms of a chalazion may include:

  • Presence of a painless lump or bump under the eyelid.
  • Swelling of the eyelid.
  • Redness or tenderness near the affected area.
  • Blurred or distorted vision if the chalazion is large and pressing on the eye.
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia).
  • Watery eyes due to irritation.

Causes & Risk Factors:

Causes of a chalazion include:

  • Blockage of the meibomian glands: These glands, located within the eyelids, produce oils that help lubricate the eyes. Blockage can occur due to thickened oils or debris, leading to inflammation.
  • Bacterial infection: In some cases, a chalazion may develop as a result of a bacterial infection of the meibomian glands.
  • Blepharitis: Chronic inflammation of the eyelids can contribute to the development of chalazia.
  • Poor eyelid hygiene: Insufficient cleaning of the eyelids can lead to buildup of debris and oil, increasing the likelihood of gland blockage and subsequent chalazion formation.

These factors disrupt the normal function of the meibomian glands, leading to the formation of a chalazion.

Testing & Diagnosis:

Testing and diagnosis of a chalazion typically involve:

  1. Physical Examination: A healthcare provider will examine the eyelid and the lump to assess its size, location, and characteristics.
  2. Medical History: Understanding the patient's medical history, including any previous eye conditions or treatments, can provide context for the development of the chalazion.
  3. Symptom Assessment: Symptoms such as the presence of a lump, swelling, redness, and any discomfort or changes in vision will be evaluated.
  4. Visual Acuity Test: If the chalazion is large or causing significant irritation, a visual acuity test may be performed to assess any impact on vision.
  5. Differential Diagnosis: In some cases, the healthcare provider may need to differentiate between a chalazion and other conditions that may present similarly, such as an eyelid stye or a more serious eyelid tumor.

In most cases, the diagnosis of a chalazion is clinical, based on the characteristic appearance and symptoms. Additional tests or procedures are usually unnecessary unless there are atypical features or complications.

Treatment Options

Schedule an Eye Exam!