Do I Need to Be Concerned About a Chalazion?

Your eyes are incredibly sensitive, not to mention critical, so it pays to take great care of them, which includes promptly addressing even seemingly minor issues like a chalazion. These benign bumps on your eyelids, if not remedied promptly, have the potential to cause more serious complications that may even affect your vision.

At his practice in Encino, California, Dr. Mark Baskin specializes in ophthalmology, offering expert treatment of most conditions that affect your eyes and their surrounding tissues. And while a chalazion is typically nothing to be overly concerned with, anything that develops around your sensitive eyes warrants a closer look.

Chalazion 101

In the simplest of terms, a chalazion is a bump that can form on either your upper or lower eyelid when one of your oil glands becomes clogged. The bump isn’t usually painful, but it can cause some discomfort if it grows in size.

A chalazion can develop for any number of reasons as bacteria invade your oil glands and clog them. People with blepharitis, which is inflammation in your eye, are more prone to chalazia. If you have rosacea or chronic dry eye, you also may be more susceptible to developing these noticeable bumps.

When a chalazion is cause for concern

In most cases, a chalazion isn’t necessarily cause for concern, especially if you treat the condition promptly. In most cases, we recommend applying a warm compress to the bump in order to thin the oil so it can drain more easily. We can also supply you with drops that help this process along.

If your chalazion continues to grow larger, or if it doesn’t resolve on its own, this small problem can lead to more serious issues as it presses against your cornea, leading to temporary astigmatism and blurry vision.

Treating a problematic chalazion

If your chalazion causes discomfort, usually through excessive tearing or itchiness, or if it impedes your vision in any way, it’s time to get more aggressive in your treatment. After exhausting noninvasive remedies to free up your oil gland, Dr. Baskin performs a very simple procedure in which he surgically drains the chalazion, or he may instead opt for a steroid injection to reduce the chalazion. 

In either case, he performs the procedure right in the office and uses local anesthesia if necessary. These treatments should offer you immediate relief, as well as restore your eyesight if it was affected. You need to keep the area clean following your procedure to prevent any further problems, such as an infection, but you shouldn’t have any downtime afterward.

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