• A lump in the upper or lower eyelid caused by inflammation of a gland of the lid.
    • May be soft and fluid-filled or firmer.
  • Other names: meibomian cyst, tarsal cyst, conjunctival granuloma.
  • Eyelid glands are called the meibomian glands.
    • Also known as the palpebral glands, tarsal glands, or tarsoconjunctival glands.
    • Produce sebum, a thick liquid secretion that is discharged into the tear film of the eye, for lubrication of the eye surface.
    • The tiny openings of these oil or sebaceous glands are just behind the lid lashes at the lid margins of both the upper and lower eyelids.

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.

  • Causing swelling of the obstructed gland, which makes the walls of the gland to thicken and causing oil to leak into the lid.
    • Leads to inflammation both within the gland and the eyelid (chalaizon)
  • Hordeolum/Stye – obstructed gland with bacterial infection.
    • Resembles a pimple
    • May be tender to touch
    • A chalazion is not an infection but may follow or precede a hordeolum.


  • A physician may do:
    • History and Physical exam.



  • Medications:
    • Steroid eye drops or antibiotics
    • Usually goes away on its own
  • Home Care
    • Application of warm compress: several times a day, 10 minutes at a time.
      • Reduce the swelling by softening the oils in the blocked gland.
    • Gentle massage of the lump gently a few times per day to try to drain it.
      • Make sure hands and any compresses to be used are clean before doing it.
    • Surgeries
      • If the chalazion does not go away within about one month.
        • For chalaizon that keeps growing, blocks vision, or leads to an astigmatism (an abnormal curving of the cornea).
        • Usually a last resort and rarely required.

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