A chalazion is a painless persistent granuloma (a "bump" or swelling) of the upper or lower eyelid.

What Causes a Chalazion?

It 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.

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.

What Is the Treatment for a Chalazion?

A chalazion is sometimes confused with a stye, which is a painful infection involving the hair follicles of the eyelashes or one of the glands in the eyelid. A stye often includes a purulent (pus) discharge. The treatment for a chalazion and a stye are similar.

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

Treatment may include:

  • Applying a warm, wet compress to your child's eyes for a period of approximately 15 minutes — rewarming the washcloth every 2-3 minutes — several times throughout the day
  • Gently scrubbing the base of the lashes with a dab of baby shampoo diluted with water on a clean washcloth and rinsing with warm water when in the bath
  • Antibiotic topical medication 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.