I have a lump on my eyelid - is it a chalazion?

A lump on the eyelid may make us feel self-conscious and in some cases, uncomfortable, but what causes them? What can you do if you have an eyelid lump and should you be concerned about it?


An eyelid lump can be caused by something called a chalazion. In this article, we explain what this is and how you can treat a chalazion.


What is a chalazion?


This condition is where a gland on the eyelid becomes blocked leading to a buildup of fluid that forms a cyst. It is not normally painful but can be uncomfortable.


Occasionally a very large cyst can affect vision due to it pressing down on the eye and make blinking uncomfortable.


Read: Other possible causes of a lump on the eyelid.

Chalazion or stye - what is the difference?


If you are thinking that a chalazion sounds pretty similar to a stye, then you are not alone! How can you tell if you have a stye or chalazion on your eyelid?


Stye


A stye is a lump on the edge of the eyelid that can be very sore. A stye is caused by an infected eyelash follicle and can result in a swollen eyelid that is tender to touch.


Chalazion


If the lump on your eyelid is further away from the edge, higher up the eyelid or seems like it’s behind the eyelashes then it could be a chalazion.


  • A chalazion can grow large enough to blur your vision, whereas a stye is usually a lot smaller

  • A chalazion is more likely to return than a stye

  • Styes are much more painful than a chalazion, which doesn’t really cause any pain at all.


How to get rid of a chalazion


A doctor or an optician can diagnose a chalazion.


Medical treatment is often not needed; applying a warm, wet compress to the eyelid at home can help to soothe and soften the cyst.


On rare occasions if the cyst causes further problems, it may need to be removed by an Ophthalmologist.


If a chalazion becomes infected urgent treatment is required, so do not delay in seeking advice from your optician if you are concerned about a lump on your eyelid.

How long does a chalazion last?


It can take a while for the swelling of a chalazion to go down. Usually a chalazion does not come back and a good standard of hygiene can help to prevent this.


More common eyelid conditions...


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Always consult a qualified optometrist to confirm a diagnosis!

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