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Chalazion

What is a chalazion?

A chalazion is a persistent inflammation or swelling of the upper or lower eyelid.

What causes a chalazion?

A chalazion is caused by a blockage of one of the glands in the eyelid. Swelling may also occur in other parts of the eye due to a secondary infection.

What are the symptoms of a chalazion?

The following are the most common symptoms of a chalazion. However, each child may experience symptoms differently. Symptoms may include:

  • a small bump which can usually be felt in the eyelid
  • a gradual swelling of the eyelid
  • discomfort in the eye or difficulty with seeing if the chalazion is large (swelling of the eyelid is usually not painful)

If the initial chalazion becomes infected, the entire lid may become swollen and painful.

The symptoms of a chalazion may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your child's physician for a diagnosis.

How is a chalazion diagnosed?

A chalazion is usually diagnosed based on a complete medical history and physical examination of your child. Additional tests are usually not required to assist in diagnosis.

Treatment of a chalazion:

Specific treatment for a chalazion will be determined by your child's physician based on:

  • your child's age, overall health, and medical history
  • the extent of the condition
  • your child's tolerance for specific medications, procedures, or therapies
  • expectations for the course of the condition
  • your opinion or preference

A small chalazion may go away on its own without treatment in a couple of months. However, treatment of a secondary infection or larger chalazion may include:

  • applying warm, wet compresses to your child's eyes for a period of approximately 15 minutes, several times throughout the day
  • antibiotic drops for the eye
  • instructing your child not to squeeze or rub the chalazion
  • having your child wash his/her hands frequently

Surgery may be needed to remove the chalazion, if symptoms do not improve.

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