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Eye Specialists of Westchester

Office (914) 235-9500
Optical (914) 235-8262

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Chalazion

A chalazion is a swelling of the eyelid caused by inflammation of one of the small oil producing glands located in the upper and lower eyelids. A chalazion is sometimes confused with a stye, which also appears as a swelling of the eyelid. Chalazions tend to occur farther from the edge of the eyelid than styes, and they tend to “point” towards the inside of the eyelid. Sometimes, a chalazion can cause the entire eyelid to swell.

When a chalazion is small and without symptoms, it may disappear on its own. If the chalazion is large, it may cause blurred vision. Chalazions are treated with any or a combination of the following methods:

  • Warm compresses can be applied. The simplest way is to hold a clean washcloth, soaked in hot water, against the closed eyelid. Do this for five to ten minutes, three or four times a day. Repeatedly soak the washcloth in hot water to maintain adequate heat. The majority of chalazions will disappear in a few weeks.
  • Oral doxycycline is sometimes used to treat large chalazions which have not been present for very long.
  • Surgical excision may be used to remove large chalazions which do not respond to other treatments.

Chalazions usually respond well to treatment, although some people are prone to recurrences. If a chalazion recurs in the same location, Dr. Scharf or Dr. Donev may suggest a biopsy to rule out a more serious problem.