Chalazion - Cyst of the Eye Treatment - Health Education - DesiMD Healthcare - India
Health Education

Chalazion : Cyst of the Eye

Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi profile Authored by Dr.Surya Rao Poodipeddi on 15 Oct 2014 - 13:41.

Chalazion, also called a cyst is a painless bump affecting either the upper or lower eyelid. It is seen whenever there is inflammation of a tear duct.

A chalazion is usually confused with a sty since both look like reddish bump. Chalazion starts as a tender red bump along the rim of a lid caused by bacterial buildup in the opening of a tear duct. A sty on the other hand occurs due to infection of a follicle in an eyelash. At the start, it is of the size of  a papaya seed, but may grow up to the size of a pea.

Luckily a chalazion is not painful but more annoying because of its cosmetic nuisance. It doesn’t jeopardize your child’s health nor does it affect the vision. It can however, be uncomfortable and bothersome. If your child has this problem for the first time you must consult a doctor who in turn may refer him to an ophthalmologist to rule out any serious eye infection.

Roughly 25 - 50 % of cases of chalazionare self-limiting and go away with or even without treatment. It may however, take one to three months for it to disappear. Those, which persist despite treatment, may need the attention of an ophthalmologist.


If the chalazion is in its early stage, your doctor may recommend the use of warm compresses to drain it. Both before and after you apply warm compresses make sure your hands are thoroughly washed. This will prevent re-infection if you touch a healthy area after dealing with the affected portion of the eye.

It is also important to keep on washing the hands of the baby who keeps on rubbing the affected part of the eye. Having washed your hands hold the baby in your lap in any position comfortable to her. You can use a clean cloth soaked in water warm enough not to burn the skin, squeeze it and gently apply it over the chalazion.

You should keep on wetting the cloth to keep it constantly warm as well as keep the temperature of the water optimum for the comfort of the baby. Continue applying warm compressors for about 10 to 15 minutes. You can also massage the surrounding area of the cyst like bump after the use of the compressor with a view to gently unblock the clogged duct. Your doctor may advise use of antibiotic ointment to be applied over the edge of the lid.

Should the cyst persist despite compressors your ophthalmologist may decide to inject the cyst with a steroid, which may stop the inflammation? This treatment will work only if the cyst is relatively small.

In extreme cases where there is no improvement either in the size or discomfort and extreme disfigurement, your ophthalmologist may as a last resort, decide to excise it (remove it surgically)under general anesthesia. This is generally avoided in a young baby unless the disfigurement is conspicuously large, and prefers to wait till the child is at least 8 years to co-operate with the local anesthesia used for removal of the cyst.

A Chalazion may recur if it has occurred once. Though there is practically no way to prevent it from occurring, one can keep the child’s eyes clean so that the tear duct doesn’t get infected leading to inflammation and a chalazion. This can be best achieved if you adopt a procedure called lid hygiene in which the lids are gently scrubbed with a clean, soft wet washcloth soaked in a cup of water to which is added a drop of shampoo.

If you can afford you can go in for commercial lid preparations to reduce the bacterial count and eliminate the dead skin from the lid margins to keep the pores open. You should however follow doctors instructions without doubt.

*Disclaimer: This is not medical advice. The content is for educational purposes only. Please contact your doctor for any health care issues.