Contact Lens Care
About Contact Lenses
Lenses & Lifestyle
Prescriptions & Eye Tests
Chalazion: Eye Drops To Cure Bumps on Eyelids
Medically reviewed by Alastair Lockwood on 2 December 2020
There are a variety of home remedies and medical treatments to cure a chalazion including topical antibiotic eye drops. This article discusses what a chalazion is, it’s causes and treatments for chalazia.
What is chalazion?
A chalazion is a firm lesion on your upper or lower eyelid. They are usually painless and, in most cases, last no longer than a few weeks.
Chalazia (plural of chalazion) develop when the meibomian gland along the base of the eyelashes get blocked. For this reason, they are also known as a meibomian cyst. Chalazia can also be caused as a result of inflammation around the oil gland. This is referred to as blepharitis.
Pus and lipids, which usually help to lubricate the eye, are no longer able to drain out, they form the contents of a chalazion.
Common causes of chalazia include inflammatory conditions such as:
- Chronic blepharitis
Those with viral conjunctivitis or an infection covering the inside or outside of the eyelids are also more likely to get a chalazion.
If a chalazion is recurring, this could be an indication of a more severe condition; however, this is rare.
What are the symptoms of a chalazion?
- A small lump which develops on an eyelid
- Mild pain or irritation sometimes to begin with
- If infected, it can become red and swollen
Can chalazion be painful?
In some cases (although rare) a chalazion can become painful, red and cause a swollen eyelid if an infection is present.
How long do chalazions last?
Chalazia can go away on their own and usually disappear after a few days or weeks. However, sometimes, they can last for several weeks and become larger over this period of time.
In rare cases, the blockages causing the chalazion do not clear up on their own in which case medical treatment may be required. If you find that the eye remains swollen, it is recommended that you seek advice from your optometrist or ophthalmologist.
How to get rid of chalazion?
You can get rid of a chalazion and speed up the healing process with home treatment. Applying a warm compress can help soften and unclog chalazia. Take a clean flannel soaked in hot water and place it over your eyes for 10-15 minutes, 3-5 times a day. Alternatively, you can try the eye doctor premium eye compress. Gently massaging the area will also help to get rid of chalazia. Wash your hands thoroughly before doing this.
If the chalazion doesn't go away after trying the methods above, your doctor may prescribe eye drops or eyelid creams. Never attempt to squeeze a chalazion or drain a chalazion yourself as this can lead to further complications.
If the lump grows larger and persists, your doctor may recommend a steroid injection or surgery. Surgery involves draining the lump under local anaesthetic. However, this procedure is uncommon and is only undertaken if the lump is causing specific complications. Both methods carry benefits and risk factors which your doctor will discuss with you.
If the chalazion causes infection to spread along the lid, your doctor may prescribe you antibiotics. Topical antibiotic eye drops such as chloramphenicol ointment can be used to treat swollen eyes.
What happens if a chalazion is left untreated?
A chalazion can grow if left untreated resulting in a large chalazion which can press on the cornea, causing vision problems such as astigmatism and blurry vision.
What is the difference between a stye and a chalazion?
A chalazion is often easily confused with a stye. The difference between the two is that a stye is usually infected while a chalazion is not. A stye is also generally painful while a chalazion generally isn't.
Can a chalazion turn into a stye?
If a chalazion becomes infected in can turn into a stye which can cause the eye to feel sore and irritated. You may also experience sensitivity to light, watery eyes and crusting along the base of the eyelashes.
Preventing a chalazion
You can prevent a chalazion by taking care of you lid hygiene and making sure to do the following:
- Always wash your hand thoroughly before touching parts of the eye
- Clean your contact lenses in fresh solution before putting them in.
- If you wear glasses or plan on wearing sunglasses, make sure that these are kept clean. Looking after your eye hygiene can help to prevent a wealth of eye problems. At Feel Good Contacts, we have a range of eye care products to assist you in this.