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Chalazion: Introduction

Chalazion is a condition of the eyelids in which one of the meibomian glands becomes inflamed. The meibomian glands produce an oily lubricant that works with tears to keep the eye moist. A chalazion is also called a meibomian gland lipogranuloma.

The symptoms of a chalazion include redness and swelling near the edge of the eyelid. A chalazion can be painless. However there is often tenderness or pain of the eyelid. The eye might also be sensitive to light (photosensitivity). A chalazion can be small or grow large enough to cause complications such as astigmatism and blurred vision. Other complications include the development of a bacterial infection of the affected meibomian gland. To learn more about other important symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of chalazion.

A chalazion occurs due the blockage of the duct that drains a meibomian gland. A chalazion occurs most often in adults, rather than children and in people who have certain conditions that can lead to blockage of the meibomian gland. These include rosacea, chronic blepharitis, and meibomian gland dysfunction. More rarely, skin cancer may block the meibomian gland and cause a chalazion.

Diagnosing a chalazion begins with taking a thorough personal medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination that includes an eye and eyelid examination.

A chalazion can generally be diagnosed by visual examination. However, even if chalazion is small and is not affecting vision, an eye examination will include testing pupil response to light, visual acuity or sharpness of vision, checking the sharpness of peripheral vision, and testing the pressure inside the eye. The outer eye may be examined using an instrument called a slit lamp, and the inner eye is examined using an instrument call an ophthalmoscope. Another test that may be performed involves temporarily staining the eye with a special eye drop to rule out a corneal ulcer, which can also cause eye pain and blurred vision.

If there are symptoms of complications, such as bacterial infection of the eyelid, a culture and sensitivity test may be performed on discharge from the affected eyelid. This involves taking a sample of the discharge, growing it in a laboratory, and examining it to determine the type of microorganism that is causing the eyelid infection.

If the cause of the chalazion is suspected to be caused by skin cancer, a biopsy is needed of the affected area. In a biopsy, a small tissue is taken and tested for the presence of cancer cells.

A diagnosis of chalazion may be missed or delayed because symptoms can be similar to symptoms of other diseases or conditions, such as blepharitis and sty. To learn more about diseases and conditions that can mimic chalazion, refer to misdiagnosis of chalazion.

With proper diagnosis and treatment, the prognosis for people with a chalazion is excellent in most cases. Treatment includes good eyelid hygiene to prevent a secondary infection and warm moist compresses to help to speed up the healing process. In more serious cases, topical medication for the eyelids and eye drops are prescribed. Surgery may be required in some cases.

Treatment also includes diagnosing and treating any underlying diseases or conditions, such as rosacea or skin cancer. For more details on treatment plans, refer to treatment of chalazion. ...more »

Chalazion: Slow-growing swelling of the upper or lower eyelid usually caused by a blockage in the oil glands in the eyelid. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Chalazion is available below.

Chalazion: Symptoms

A chalazion occurs due the blockage of the duct that drains a meibomian gland in the eyelid, which produces an oily eye lubricant. This results in the typical symptoms of chalazion, including a bump on the eyelid, swelling, and a reddened appearance of near the edge of the affected eyelid. Either the upper or the lower eyelids can be affected by a chalazion.

Symptoms can also ...more symptoms »

Chalazion: Treatments

With a good, consistent treatment plan, the prognosis for most cases of chalazion is good with minimal risk of serious complications, such as blurred vision or bacterial infection.

Treatment of chalazion begins with diagnosing and treating any underlying conditions, such as rosacea, skin cancer, chronic blepharitis, and meibomian gland dysfunction.

A small chalazion will ...more treatments »

Chalazion: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of chalazion may be delayed or missed because symptoms of chalazion can be similar to symptoms of other diseases and conditions. These include sty, blepharitis, xanthelasma, and papilloma. ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Chalazion

Treatments for Chalazion

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Causes of Chalazion

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Definitions of Chalazion:

A non-neoplastic cyst of the MEIBOMIAN GLANDS of the eyelid. - (Source - Diseases Database)

A small sebaceous cyst of the eyelid resulting when a Meibomian gland is blocked - (Source - WordNet 2.1)


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