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Suite 5A, Level 1, 1-17 Elsie Street

Burwood NSW 2134


(02) 8090 8010


A chalazion is a blocked oil gland.  The upper and lower lids have many vertical meibomian glands that open near the lashes.  The blockage of the opening of these glands leads to accumulation and eventually extravasation of the oil. The body then generates inflammation to clean up the oil spill resulting in redness and swelling.  This is NOT an infection.  If the body succeeds in clearing the oil then the symptoms get better else the symptoms can persist for months sometimes leaving a residual lump.

A chalazion can affect the sight in the eye of a young child if the upper lid becomes so swollen as to obstruct line of sight. Your doctor/optometrist should be able to advise you regarding this.  Very rarely, it is possible for the chalazion to get secondarily infected and cause a cellulitis.  This  requires antibiotics.
A chalazion is treated if it affect sight or if its cosmetic impact concerns you. Chalazion drainage involves removing the oil that is collected within the lump.  In a young child  who is unlikely to lay still this would require a general anaesthetic.  In older children and in adults this procedure can be done in the clinic under local anaesthesia. If you have multiple chalazia it might be useful to take oral antibiotics such as doxycycline for a month to reduce the incidence of more forming.
Incision and drainage of a chalazion is a common procedure normally performed in the practice rooms.  It does NOT involve operating on your eyeball.  The procedure takes about 5 to 10 minutes and there are no stitches.   At the end of the procedure your eye will be covered with an eye-pad and therefore we suggest someone be present to drive you home.  You will be asked to remove the dressing the next day and use antibiotic drops 3 times a day for 5 days to prevent a secondary infection.