Chalazion

Image of a large red bump on an eyelid.

A chalazion is the medical term for a slowly developing lump on the eyelid that occurs due to an oil gland blockage. At first, the eyelid may appear to be red, tender and swollen. After several days, the chalazion will form on the eyelid, appearing as a slow growing lump. While it is initially painless and nearly impossible to detect, with steady growth, the chalazion may reach the size of pea. Chalazia are most common in adults between the ages of 30 to 50, although individuals of all ages, including children, can develop a chalazion.

Initially, chalazia can be difficult to diagnose as they are often confused with styes. A stye is also a red, swollen lump along the eyelid. However, styes are located on the edge of the eyelid or inside the eyelid’s immediate surface. They are more painful than a chalazion and typically occur closer to the eyelid’s surface. A stye is caused by an infection of the oil gland within the eyelid; a chalazion, in contrast, is caused by a blockage in the actual oil gland.

Causes and Risk Factors

Glands within the eyelids known as the meibomian glands naturally produce oil. Should a blockage within these glands occur, oil will build up inside the gland and eventually thicken, forming a lump known as a chalazion. In some cases, the gland may even break open, releasing the oil into the surrounding eyelid tissue, which causes inflammation. In some cases having a stye can also result in a chalazion. Risk factors for chalazion development include conditions associated with excessive oil production, such as seborrhea and acne rosacea. A viral infection, tuberculosis, and chronic blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids and lashes) also increase the risk for developing a chalazion.

Diagnosis and Treatment

In some cases, a chalazion will resolve itself over the course of several weeks without the need for medical intervention. At-home remedies can speed the healing process. For example, an eye care provider may recommend the application of a warm compress to the eyelid for 10 to 15 minutes four to six times per day. Warmth from the compress can help soften the hardened oil that is blocking the gland, facilitating the healing process. Light massage on the external area of the eyelid may also help to facilitate drainage. Never attempt to squeeze or drain a chalazion by yourself. If the chalazion does not heal within one month, contact your eye doctor for additional medical care.

Our Locations

Oakland | Fremont | Pleasanton

Hours of Operation

Our Regular Schedule

Pleasanton

Monday

Closed

Tuesday

11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Wednesday

11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Thursday

11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Friday

11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Saturday

11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Sunday

Closed

Fremont

Monday

10:00 am - 4:30 pm

Tuesday

10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Wednesday

10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Thursday

10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Friday

10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Saturday

10:00 am - 6:00 pm

Sunday

Closed

Oakland

Monday

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Tuesday

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Wednesday

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Thursday

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Friday

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Saturday

10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Sunday

Closed

Pleasanton

Monday
Closed
Tuesday
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Wednesday
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Thursday
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Friday
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Saturday
11:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday
Closed

Fremont

Monday
10:00 am - 4:30 pm
Tuesday
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wednesday
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Friday
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sunday
Closed

Oakland

Monday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Wednesday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Thursday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Saturday
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday
Closed