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Chalazion (cyst in the eyelid)

Each eyelid has a few dozens of these glands. Chalazion is the swelling of a sebaceous gland (Meibomian gland) in the eyelid. This can create a cyst.

Cause

Because of an blockage the tallow cannot come out of the eye anymore and blocks the gland. It is a sterile inflammation, which can sometimes be accompanied by a bacterial inflammation (infection).

Symptoms

It can either be a painless or painful swelling, just above or below the edge of the eyelid. The entire eyelid may become red and swollen fairly quickly.

Treatment

A cyst in the eyelid is best treated with a warm compress. Put a clean wash cloth or that has been drenched in hot water (test the temperature on elbow skin) on the swollen eyelid for 15 minutes, at least twice a day.

Additional infections can be treated with antibiotics and possibly corticosteroid-containing eye drops.

If the cyst lasts too long, it will be removed under local anesthesia by making a small incision in the eyelid. This incision is usually made on the inside of the eyelid so there is no scarification after the wound has healed. Then a pressure bandage with a type of eye ointment is applied for a period of 2 – 12 hours. After the treatment, the patient cannot drive a vehicle. We suggest that a relative or friend brings you to your appointment and drives you back home.

In some cases, the ophthalmologist may choose to inject anti-inflammatory drugs (corticosteroids) into the swelling.

A chalazion can be a one-off, but another chalazion may also occur in another spot in the eyelid. This will be treated as described above.

Any questions? Please contact OMC Amstelland.

Source: NOG patient information  – www.oogheelkunde.org

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