Chalazion and Hordeolum

Chalazion and Hordeolum

Chalazion and hordeolum are common inflammatory lid lesions. Hordeolum starts as a small painful spot on the lid margin, usually at the base of an eyelash. Chalazion, an inflammation of the lid oil gland, starts as a painless lump on the lid, slightly away from the margin. Later, if the hordeolum or the chalazion progress, they may become indistinguishable from each other.
Treatment may involve any one, or a combination, of the following:

  • Antibiotic and/or steroid eye drops or injections
  • Warm compresses (dip clean cloth in moderately hot water that will not burn, squeeze cloth to drain excess water, place over CLOSED eye; re-wet with hot water as needed; apply on and off for about 15 minutes, 3 or more times a day). See Hot Compresses under “How to …”
  • Surgical removal

If the lid is swollen after surgical removal, apply cold compresses 3 or more times during the first day (put a few ice cubes in plastic bag, wrap in clean cloth and place over the CLOSED eye, on and off for 15 minutes).

If on the second day after surgery the skin appears bruised, apply warm compresses as described above to hasten blood resorption.

Tissue removed at surgery is submitted for microscopic examination to a pathology laboratory to rule out a tumor (e.g. oil gland cancer, skin cancer).

If you have a tendency to develop hordeolum or chalazions you need to be checked for chronic Blepharitis (a type of low grade chronic lid margin inflammation). Come back for an evaluation in a couple of months after your current, acute problem is under control.