What Are Chalazia?

By eleanor
Reviewed: dr. vanta
Article Sources Article Sources
  • 1. Jordan, Gary A. 'Chalazion.' U.S. National Library of Medicine, 8 Aug. 2020, www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499889/.
  • 2. G;, Gilchrist H; Lee. 'Management of Chalazia in General Practice.' Australian Family Physician, U.S. National Library of Medicine, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19458801/.
  • 3. 'Keep Your Eyes Healthy.' National Eye Institute, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, www.nei.nih.gov/learn-about-eye-health/healthy-vision/keep-your-eyes-healthy.
Medical Expert Medical Expert

Chalazia (or chalazion in the singular) are small lumps or cysts found on the eyelid. These cysts are often painless and slow-growing. Chalazia develop when the sebaceous glands on the eyelid become blocked or inflamed, causing a buildup of fluid.

These sebaceous, or oil, glands are responsible for keeping eye areas moistened. When these glands become blocked, the body initiates an inflammatory response, which causes swelling. Chalazia can clear up on their own or may need to be treated by a doctor. Below you can find some interesting facts about chalazia.

1. Painless Growing Lump

Chalazia are often painless and slow-growing. They can sometimes be confused with sties. Sties or “styes” are a different type of small lump that develops on the eyelid, usually tender to the touch and containing a bacterial infection.

Chalazia grow slowly, but left untreated, can swell and affects a persons’ eyesight. These cysts are usually painless but can become tender if touched too much due to bacteria from our hands. This bacteria can infect the chalazion, causing it to become more inflamed, and the swelling may eventually affect the entire lid.


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