Clinical Reference Systems: Pediatric Advisor 10.0
Chalazion (Lump on Eyelid)
DESCRIPTION (Diagnosis must be confirmed by a physician.)
- There is a lump in the middle of the eyelid.
- The lump slowly gets bigger until it is about 1/2 inch
- The skin overlying the lump is a normal color or pink.
- The lump is usually not tender.
This diagnosis requires examination by a physician.
A chalazion is caused by a blockage of a special oil gland
called the meibomian gland. The oil gland normally provides
lubrication to the inner surface of the eyelid. When the
gland is blocked, the oily material accumulates and causes a
lump in the eyelid. The gland can become blocked by
infection, dust, a foreign body, or trauma.
If a chalazion is caused by infection, the culprit is
usually staphylococcus bacterium.
If a chalazion is treated within the first month or so, the
antibiotics and eyelid massage may reduce the swelling.
After the first month, treatment is of little benefit, but
the lump may gradually disappear on its own. Occasionally,
the blocked gland opens through the inner lining of the
eyelid and drains a little pus for a day or so before it
If the chalazion is large and lasts more than 5 or 6 months,
it usually needs to be opened and drained by an eye surgeon
RELATED TOPIC: STYE
Styes are different from chalazions because they are located
on the eyelid margin and drain without any treatment within
a few days.
For more information see Stye.
- Antibiotic eyedrops or ointment (available by
Your child needs the antibiotic eyedrops or ointment
prescribed by your physician.
If your physician has prescribed eyedrops, gently pull
down on the lower eyelid and place two drops inside the
lower lid. Have your child then close his eyes for
2 minutes, so the eyedrops will stay inside. If it is
difficult to separate your child's eyelids, put the
eyedrops over the inner corner of the eye while he is
lying down. When your child opens his eye and blinks,
the eyedrops will flow in.
If your physician has prescribed eye ointment, separate
the eyelids and put in a small ribbon of ointment along
the lower eyelid from one corner of the eye to the
other. If it is difficult to separate your child's
eyelids, put the ointment on the edges of the eyelids.
As the ointment melts, it will flow onto the eyeball.
- Hot compresses and eyelid massage
The purpose of eyelid massage is to help open the
blocked gland. First put a warm wet cloth on the eyelid
for 2 or 3 minutes. Then, using your finger or a cotton
swab, gently massage the swollen area downward towards
the edge of the eyelid. Do this for about 1 minute.
Repeat this process four times a day just before you put
the antibiotic eyedrops or ointment in your child's eye.
CALL YOUR CHILD'S PHYSICIAN DURING OFFICE HOURS IF:
- The chalazion doesn't get smaller after you have treated
it for one month with antibiotic eyedrops (or ointment)
- The swelling becomes larger.
- Your child still has the lump more than 5 or 6 months
- The eyelid becomes red and swollen.
- You have other questions or concerns.