A chalazion is a slowly developing lump that forms due to blockage and swelling of an oil gland
in the eyelid. It is more common in adults than children and occurs most frequently in persons 30
to 50 years of age.
Initially, a chalazion may appear as a red, tender, swollen area of the eyelid. However, in a few
days it changes to a painless, slow growing lump in the eyelid. A chalazion often starts out very
small and is barely able to be seen, but it may grow to the size of a pea. Often times they may be
confused with sties, which are also areas of swelling in the eyelid.
Common signs or symptoms of a chalazion include:
• Appearance of a painless bump or lump in the upper eyelid, or, less commonly, in the
• Blurred vision, if the chalazion is large enough to press against the eyeball
Many chalazia require minimal medical treatment, resolving on their own in a few weeks to a month.
To facilitate healing, warm compresses can be applied to the eyelid for 10 to15 minutes 4 to 6 times a
day for several days. The warm compresses may help soften the hardened oil that is blocking the ducts
thereby promoting drainage and healing. Lightly messaging the external area of the eyelid for several
minutes each day may also help to promote drainage.