Jacqueline D. Griffiths, M.D., P.C.
12110 Sunset Hills Road Suite 50 LL
Reston, Virginia 20190
703-834-9777 Fax 703-834-8187 Toll Free 800-294-1001


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The eye is surrounded by small oil-producing glands that help lubricate it. Occasionally, the gland becomes plugged, and a hard and sometimes a painful lump called a chalazion (ch lae zee on) forms.


The pimple-like chalazion is a small annoyance that can become a big problem. What starts out as a small annoying lump can become infected and cause great discomfort. The eye may become red, swollen and sensitive to light. In the worst cases, it can even affect eyesight, causing blurry vision. This is due to pressure placed on the eye from the inflammation (swelling) of the eyelid and the growing chalazion.


Luckily, most chalazion stay small and are just a minor annoyance. They can be treated at home with warm compresses and gentle massaging of the affected area to loosen the plugged oil glands. They often resolve on their own within a few weeks. Chalazion that are a greater nuisance or become infected can be treated with antibiotics and other medications.

In the worst cases, the chalazion can be surgically drained and/or removed in the doctor's office. If the chalazion returns or if you have had them over a long period of time, your doctor may send the removed chalazion to a laboratory to be tested.