A chalazion is a painless inflammation characterised by a lump or nodule formed on the upper or lower eyelid. A chalazion is non-communicable and usually does not affect vision, but a large lump can put pressure on the eye.

Chalazion manifests as a painless, red, tender bump on the eyelid and causes excess tearing. It starts out very small, but can soon grow into a bump the size of a pea. Chalazion may cause blurred vision, due to pressure exerted on the eye by a large chalazion. Very rarely, they may indicate an infection or skin cancer.

A chalazion is caused due to a gland (the meibomian gland) present in the lining of the eyelids, which lubricates the eye surface. Blockage of these glands may result in the accumulation of oil in the gland until it eventually breaks open, releasing the oil into the neighbouring tissue. This is what causes the inflammation.

Certain factors increase the risk of developing a chalazion. These include

  • Chronic blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids or eye lashes)
  • Acne rosacea (redness due to blockage of blood vessels on the face)
  • Seborrhoea (overactive sebaceous glands causing oily skin)
  • Tuberculosis
  • Viral infection

Incision and Curettage

Incision and curettage is a surgical method of treatment for a chalazion. Chalazion is a condition of swelling in the eyelid. It is usually non-infective and painless and can occur in both upper and lower eye lids. Incision and curettage is performed under general anaesthesia. A clamp is placed to hold the eyelid backwards. A small cut is made with a surgical blade from underside the eyelid. The inflammatory debris is removed from the cyst and the cavity is cleaned thoroughly. An antibiotic ointment will be applied and the eye is padded for 24 hours. You will be advised to apply antibiotic ointment for at least 3-4 times a day for one week.

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