If you notice that you have a swollen red lump on your eyelid, you may have a benign growth known as a chalazion. Board-certified ophthalmologist Dr. Wallace Goldban, MD, provides expert diagnosis and treatments for a chalazion at both the Palm Desert and Palm Springs, California, locations of the practice, Desert Ophthalmology. If you’re concerned about a lump on your eyelid, call or schedule an appointment online today.

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What is a chalazion?

A chalazion is a swollen, red bump that develops on your eyelid when an oil gland gets blocked and inflamed, but isn’t painful. The chalazion tends to grow slowly and can transition from a small red spot to a large lump. They are most often found in your upper eyelid, although they can develop on the lower eyelid as well.

Chalazia usually form when the fluid in your oil glands becomes thick and is unable to drain efficiently, leading to swelling. You may experience some mild irritation or tearing. In most cases, a chalazion will go away on its own, but you should still have a doctor at Desert Ophthalmology examine it, especially if it’s causing blurry vision.

How is a chalazion different than a sty?

While it also involves swelling, a sty is caused by a bacterial infection in an eyelash follicle. They’re typically very painful and grow on the base of an eyelash, inside your eyelid.

How is a chalazion diagnosed?

Your doctor at Desert Ophthalmology diagnoses a chalazion with an exam of your eyelid. He’ll ask questions about your medical history and your symptoms while carefully examining your eyelid, eyelashes, and your eyelid structure and texture. He’ll carefully look at the bases of your eyelashes and oil gland openings to determine if your lump is a sty or a chalazion.

How is a chalazion treated?

Your doctor may turn to any of a variety of options to treat and soothe your chalazion. In most cases, chalazia don’t require extensive treatment and will resolve on their own.

You may find some relief from applying warm compresses for 15 minutes every four to six hours. The warmth can soften the thick and hardened oil that is causing the swelling.

Your doctor may also show you how to massage your eyelids gently. You don’t want to rub your eyes vigorously, but gentle pressure can promote regular drainage. Make sure your hands are clean when you touch your eyes, and once your chalazion drains, you should avoid touching or rubbing your eyes.

If your chalazion doesn’t respond to these gentle treatments, your doctor might prescribe anti-inflammatory medication like corticosteroid injections. He may also suggest surgery to drain the growth.

If you’re concerned about a growth or lump on your eyelid, call or make an appointment online today for expert diagnosis and treatment with the doctors at Desert Ophthalmology.