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Eye diseases


It is common to confuse chalazion with a stye.
It can go away on its own or require a small surgery.

What is chalazion?

Chalazion is a cyst or nodule on the eyelid owing to blocked Meibomian glands. These sebaceous glands are located in the lower and upper eyelids and are responsible for secreting an oily substance that is part of the tear film to prevent tears from evaporating quickly and allow the eye surface to keep adequately moist.

When these glands are blocked, they cannot release their content, so it accumulates inside the eyelid and chalazion ensues.

It is very common to confuse this disorder with a stye. The basic difference between both is that a stye is usually located right on the edge of the eyelashes, responds to an infectious process of the hair follicle and is quite painful. Chalazion, on the other hand, is located in the centre of the eyelid, is usually less symptomatic and is not painful.

Generally speaking, chalazion does not cause any bothersome symptoms, apart from the nodule on the eyelid, which is aesthetically striking and is sometimes preceded by eyelid swelling. In most cases, it goes away on its own, without the need for treatment.

If chalazion becomes too large, it may bother you when you blink or exert pressure on your eyeball and cause blurred vision.

This pathology may be fostered, if you have:

  • Blepharitis: inflammation of the eyelid with a multifactorial origin, which causes flaking (“dandruff” between the eyelashes) and obstruction of the hair follicles of the eyelashes or the Meibomian glands located just behind them.
  • Rosacea acne: a skin disease characterised by redness and the appearance of acne-like pimples. It may cause eye symptoms, such as dry eye, irritation and swelling of the eyelids.

Seborrhoeic dermatitis: this originates from an alteration in the sebaceous secretion of areas like the scalp, eyebrows, nasal area or ear canals. This results in flaking and reddish patches.

Chalazion usually disappears spontaneously without the need for treatment. As with styes, in most cases it is enough to apply heat to soften it and allow for drainage of the clogged gland. To do this, we recommend that you put a gauze or pad soaked in hot water on the area and do this several times a day for 10-15 minutes each time.

However, if this does not work and chalazion grows or bothers you, it may be necessary to do something to remove it. One option is to inject steroids directly into the nodule or prescribe antibiotics, if there are signs of infection.

When chalazion does not decrease with these treatments or becomes recurrent, our ophthalmologists can perform a simple surgery, which involves making a small incision in the cyst, draining the sebaceous substance and cleaning the area well to try to avoid future obstructions.

Make an appointment to visit Miranza and take care of your eye health.