A chalazion is a large bump along the eyelid that often develops when an oil gland is blocked. Since it can grow so large that it may interfere with vision, it usually needs to be treated if it does not disappear on its own. Many patients can treat their chalazion from home, using warm compresses and gentle eye massages. If self-care does not work, it may be necessary to visit a doctor to get antibiotic eye drops or pills. Finally, in some extreme cases, chalazion treatment may include either piercing the lump or surgically removing it.
Most patients can perform their own chalazion treatment at home. This often includes applying a warm compress to the eye for roughly ten minutes, about four times per day. This not only usually decreases inflammation, but can also encourage it to drain on its own, allowing it to slowly deflate and disappear. Massaging the closed eyelid with clean hands can also help promote drainage. During this time, it is helpful to avoid wearing contacts or makeup when possible, as these products may further irritate the chalazion.
If self-care chalazion treatment does not work, it is often advisable to see a doctor, especially if the bump appears to be getting larger. Most doctors can prescribe an antibiotic eye drop or ointment to get rid of the bacteria that may be present inside the bump. If the infection appears to have spread to the eyelid or the entire eye, an antibiotic pill may be necessary. Some doctors may also choose to inject steroid medicine into the bump in order to decrease swelling, especially if the chalazion has grown large enough to obstruct vision.
In some cases, the only chalazion treatment that works is surgical removal, particularly if the bump has been around for months or seems to be growing. In fact, any chalazion that obstructs vision, and does not respond to antibiotics or steroids, usually needs to be surgically removed. In addition, some patients wanting surgery do not experience any complications or blurred vision due to the bump, but may just be bothered by the fact that it can negatively affect the appearance. On the other hand, some doctors prefer to lance the chalazion rather than completely removing it, as piercing it with a clean needle can drain it. Of course, it should be noted that this type of chalazion treatment should not be performed at home since it can lead to further complications when not done correctly.