A chalazion is a small lump or cyst that develops on your upper or lower eyelid. It is painless, so if you ever wake up with one of these, don’t stress it too much, it could just be because of blocked oil glands.

It can develop when a meibomian gland, at the edge of your eyelid becomes blocked or inflamed. The glands are there to produce oil that supports the lubrication to the surface of your eye.

If you have a chalazion, you should see your eye doctor if your vision is affected, your eye feels sore or if you have had chalazion before.

What are the symptoms?

In the early phase, it usually develops as a tiny, red swollen area of the eyelid. In a matter of days, the inflammation can grow into a painless and slow growing lump.

Even though the chalazion may seem painless, it can lead to your eye becoming watery and slight irritation. A particularly larger chalazion may push on the eye ball and, therefore causing blurry vision.


Causes and risk factors

A chalazion usually happens when the eyes or skin is affected by an underlying inflammatory condition. Some of the conditions are:

  • Acne rosacea
  • Chronic blepharitis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis

Sometimes a chalazion can develop due to conjunctivitis, which is a kind of eye infection however, this case is not so common.

Having said that, these are the risk factors to consider:

  • Skin cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Viral infections
  • Tuberculosis

Can you treat it at home?

As the chalazion can clear up on its own, it usually requires minimal medical attention.

However, it is very important to keep in mind that you stay away from squeezing or popping the chalazion as it can increase the risk of eye infection.

That being said, there are a few safe home treatments that can be practised in order to speed up the healing process.

Warm compresses

To begin with, you will need to soften any sort of hardened oil that is obstructing the gland ducts. To do this, you simply apply a warm compress on the affected eye. This process will contribute to opening up the duct and drain more effectively and in return will relieve the irritation.

Follow these instructions on how to make and use a warm compress:

  • Grab a soft cloth or a cotton pad and soak it in warm water.
  • Remove and excess liquid
  • Apply the damp cloth or pad to the swollen eyelid for approximately 10-15 minutes.
  • Keep the compress warm, so be sure to keep wetting it.
  • Finally, repeat this process a number of times a day until the swelling has reduced.

Useful tips


In order to help drain the oil ducts, you can begin by gently massaging the swollen eyelid for a few minutes every day. However, before you begin with this process, ensure that your hands have been cleaned thoroughly to avoid the risk of infection.

Once the draining process of the chalazion has started, be sure to keep the area clean and always avoid touching it with your bare hands.

You can treat the chalazion through a variety of over the counter treatments. This can assist in decreasing the irritation, infection, and help with the recovery process.

Some of the treatments can include:

  • Medicated eye pads
  • Eye drops. Here you can check out a very useful guide on how to use eye drops
  • Ointments

Things to stay away from

To put a stop to any further discomfort or irritation, you should stay away from wearing eye makeup or using contact lenses, until the chazalion has healed.

Seeing the doctor

If the chalazion has not healed within within a month, then you should consider visiting the optometrist or an ophthalmologist.

The eye specialist will ask you about the symptoms you have been experiencing and will have a look at the effected area in order to identify if there are any other conditions to be concerned about.

Ointments or anti-inflammatory eye drops may be prescribed in order to help reduce the pain and speed up the healing process.

Depending on where the chalazion is, the size and location, the doctor may give you a steroid injection to reduce the swelling.

The doctor may recommend oral antibiotics, if there is an indication of bacterial infection.



The doctor could possibly recommend undergoing surgery if the chalazion becomes severe or if it is continuously occurring.

Chalazion can occur multiple times and if this happens, then the doctor may need to take a biopsy of the sore eye.

A biopsy is typically when the doctor removes a sample of tissue, which the doctor will then run further tests in order to determine if there are any other serious conditions.

How to prevent chalazion

To help stop a chalazion from developing or happening again, cleaning the eye area every day can be beneficial. Also, implementing the use of eyelid scrubs or moistened cleansing wipes in order to prevent the oil glands from becoming blocked.

Further tips to help prevent chalazion are:

  • Do not rub the eyes
  • Making sure that your hands are clean before you touch your eyes
  • Changing your eye makeup every 6 months in order to prevent growth of bacteria.
  • Keeping your eyes protected from dust or air pollution by wearing sunglasses.

If you would like to know more information on what is damaging your eyes and how you can prevent that from happening, check this out. .


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