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A to Z: Chalazion

May also be called: Meibomian Gland Lipogranuloma

A chalazion (kuh-LAY-zee-on) is a lump on the inner side of the eyelid. It occurs when one of the small oil glands (meibomian glands) around the eyelid becomes blocked.

chalazion illustration

More to Know

Located near the eyelashes, the Meibomian glands are responsible for keeping the eye moist. When one of these glands can't drain properly, a chalazion develops.

A person with a chalazion may have a tender, painful, or swollen eyelid, increased tearing, and sensitivity to light. Astigmatism (an eye problem that causes blurred vision) can be a complication of a large chalazion because of the pressure it puts on the cornea.

The condition is usually treated at home with warm compresses and gentle massage that can help drain the blocked gland. If the chalazion continues to grow, however, it may need to be surgically removed. Steroid injections also can help ease symptoms.

Keep in Mind

Having a chalazion is not a serious health problem. Left alone, the affected area usually heals completely within a month. If after this time the lump continues to grow or there is eyelash loss, talk to your doctor about further treatment.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

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