A chalazion is a pea-sized growth in the eyelid caused by sebaceous glands. Oedema, redden and painful sensations characterize the disease. When reaching large sizes, a chalazion can provoke visual impairment. Usually, ophthalmologists use medications to treat eyelid inflammation, while more advanced cases might require surgical intervention.
A chalazion is an inflammation process located in the thickness of the sebaceous gland of the eyelid. Some eyelid glands produce the fatty component of tears (meibomian). The disease typically starts when the dust of the gland gets blocked. As a result, the secret and pus do not come out but collect inside. From the outside, a chalazion looks like a hordeolum (or styes - acute purulent inflammation of the hair follicle or sebaceous gland).
The disease should also not be confused with inflammatory conditions of the eyelids of infectious origin:
- Eyelid abscess - is an inflammation of the subcutaneous tissue and dermis, in which a cavity filled with purulent contents is formed.
- Eyelid furuncle - is an acute purulent inflammation of the hair follicle of the skin of the eyelid.
- Eyelid inflammation (blepharitis) - is the collective name of a group of ophthalmological diseases manifested by inflammation of the edge of the eyelids, usually bilateral.
But if a secondary infection joins, a chalazion can also get complicated with inflammation. As a result, the eyelid lump gets more prominent and causes pain.
Usually, it takes 2-3 days for the eyelid bump to form. Then, the eyelid turns red, local skin sensitivity and a local temperature rise appear. At the same time, a person can feel good in general. Depending on the location, ophthalmologists distinguish two forms:
- Since the upper eyelid is thin and mobile, the formation here immediately becomes noticeable. Bulging and later swelling is visible and quickly detected. The patient feels discomfort, itching, and soreness.
- Chalazion of the lower eyelid is most often formed on the inner side, close to the conjunctiva. It might not be easy to notice so that lower eyelid chalazion can reach larger sizes.
Conservative therapy is usually sufficient for almost all cases and involves antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs. Surgical removal might be the treatment option when the eyelid lump becomes large (more than 5 mm). Severe inflammation, abscesses and drug treatment failure are indications for chalazion surgery. Under local anaesthesia, ophthalmologists make a small incision in the eyelid, and the blocked gland is cleaned. Eyelid lump surgery is also recommended if the disease regularly recurs.
Where can I get Chalazion treatment?
What are the best clinics for Chalazion treatment?
Who are the best doctors for Chalazion?
Prof. Dr. med. Mathias Maier from University Hospital rechts der Isar Munich
Dr. med. Detlef Deiermann from Academic Hospital Bundeswehr Berlin
Prof. Dr. med. Thomas Kohnen from University Hospital Frankfurt am Main of Goethe-University
Prof. Dr. med. Siegfried Priglinger from University Hospital Ludwig-Maximilians Munich
PD. Dr. med. Ira Seibel from Helios Hospital Berlin-Buch