Chalazion (Eyelid Cyst)
Andrew A. Dahl, MD, FACS
Andrew A. Dahl, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist. Dr. Dahl's educational background includes a BA with Honors and Distinction from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, and an MD from Cornell University, where he was selected for Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. He had an internal medical internship at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Chalazion facts
- What is a chalazion?
- What are these eyelid glands?
- What causes a chalazion?
- What are risk factors for a chalazion?
- What are the symptoms and signs of a chalazion?
- Is a chalazion like a pimple?
- How do health care professionals diagnose a chalazion?
- What types of specialists treat a chalazion?
- What are treatments and home remedies for a chalazion?
- What is the prognosis of a chalazion?
- Is it possible to prevent a chalazion?
- Find a local Eye Doctor in your town
What is a chalazion?
A chalazion is a lump in the upper or lower eyelid caused by inflammation of a gland of the lid. It may be soft and fluid-filled or firmer. A chalazion is also referred to as a meibomian cyst, tarsal cyst, or conjunctival granuloma.
What are these eyelid glands?
Eyelid glands are called the meibomian glands. They are also known as the palpebral glands, tarsal glands, or tarsoconjunctival glands. There are 30-40 of these glands in each of the upper and lower lids. These glands produce a thick liquid secretion that is discharged into the tear film of the eye. This liquid is a mixture of oil and mucus and is called sebum. The liquid acts to maintain lubrication of the surface of the eye. The tiny openings of each of these oil or sebaceous glands are just behind the eyelashes at the lid margins of both the upper and lower eyelids.
What causes a chalazion?
The narrow opening through which a meibomian gland secretes its material can become clogged from narrowing of the opening or hardening of the sebaceous liquid near the opening. If this occurs, the gland will have a backup of the material it secretes and the obstructed gland will swell. This leads to thickening of the walls of the gland and leakage of oil into the lid itself, causing inflammation both within the gland and the eyelid. This inflamed enlargement is a chalazion.
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