What is a chalazion?
A chalazion is a persistent inflammation or swelling of the upper or lower eyelid.
What causes a chalazion?
A chalazion is caused by a blockage of one of the glands in the eyelid. Swelling may also occur in other parts of the eye due to a secondary infection.
What are the symptoms of a chalazion?
The following are the most common symptoms of a chalazion. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:
A small bump which can usually be felt in the eyelid
A gradual swelling of the eyelid
Discomfort in the eye or difficulty with seeing if the chalazion is large (swelling of the eyelid is usually not painful)
If the initial chalazion becomes infected, the entire lid may become swollen and painful.
The symptoms of a chalazion may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.
How is a chalazion diagnosed?
A chalazion is usually diagnosed based on a complete medical history and physical examination of your child. Additional tests are usually not required to assist in diagnosis.
Treatment of a chalazion:
Specific treatment for a chalazion will be determined by your child's physician based on:
Your child's age, overall health, and medical history
The extent of the condition
Your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
Expectations for the course of the condition
Your opinion or preference
A small chalazion may go away on its own without treatment in a couple of months. However, treatment of a secondary infection or larger chalazion may include:
Applying warm, wet compresses to your child's eyes for a period of approximately 15 minutes, several times throughout the day
Antibiotic drops for the eye
Instructing your child not to squeeze or rub the chalazion
Having your child wash his/her hands frequently
Surgery may be needed to remove the chalazion, if symptoms do not improve.
To request an appointment with a physician at St. Louis Children's Hospital, call 314.454.5437 or 800.678.5437 or email us. For additional resources about chalazion, contact our Family Resource Center.