These arise from the different glands found in the eyelids. Commonly benign but can cause eye irritation.
A chalazion (also known as meibomian cyst) appears as a lump on the eyelid. It is a common condition, it is benign and easily recognised and diagnosed. The eyelids contain specialised oil-producing glands (meibomian glands) which discharge their secretions onto the surface of the eyes, and are essential in preventing the tear film from evaporating too quickly. If the ducts of the meibomian glands become blocked the resultant collection of oils may act as a ‘foreign body’ resulting in an inflammatory reaction and a rapidly enlarging reddish lump in the eyelid.
It can be treated either medically or surgically. Regular lid hygiene with warm compresses and topical antibiotic ointment to the eyelid margins reduces the likelihood of chalazion formation in those individuals at risk. Established cysts may resolve with this treatment.
Omega oils (for example, in Flax seed oil supplements) are thought to improve the glandular function of the lids and reduce the risk of oil build-up and cyst formation. An “Eye Bag” can also help to improve the function of the meibomian glands.
If the chalazion persists after medical treatment, surgical treatment is necessary. The surgical treatment of a chalazion is known as “incision and curettage” (I+C), and is performed under local anaesthetic.