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A chalazion is a form of cyst that forms on the eyelid. Learn more about what they are, what causes them and how they can be treated.
A chalazion is a cyst on the eyelid that forms when an oil gland near the eyelid becomes blocked; discharged fluid from the gland accumulates, forming a cyst. A chalazion is benign (non-cancerous), and the most common type of benign eyelid cyst.
A stye, also known as a hordeolum, is a small lump that can grow under the eyelid or on the edge of the eyelid from the base of the eyelash. Styes are painful and red, and are mostly caused by a bacterial infection.
A chalazion can develop from an under-eyelid stye, but unlike a stye it tends not to be painful.
There are glands in the eyelids that produce oil which coats the surface of the eye to prevent tears from evaporating – these are called the meibomian glands. These glands can get blocked due to factors including inflammation. The oil they secrete then collects into a cyst on the eyelid.
Other causes include:
Symptoms of a chalazion can include:
Chalazia tend to go away on their own in a few weeks. Make sure you do not try to squeeze or pop the chalazion as this can worsen the condition.
If a chalazion hasn’t subsided in a few weeks, you may need to visit an eye specialist to have the chalazion surgically drained.
To remove a chalazion, a hidden incision can be made underneath the eyelid under local anaesthetic to drain the cyst. This procedure normally takes about 15 minutes. Find out more about the procedure and pricing here.
You can lower the chances of chalazia and other eye complications developing by avoiding touching your eyes and making sure your hands are clean if you do need to touch your eyes, for example when you’re using contact lenses.
Cleansing your eyelids will help clear makeup or dirt that could block your glands.
Refer to our eyelid cyst removal procedure page for more information on surgery options and pricing.
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