Chalazion: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 9/16/2017

A chalazion is a lump in the upper or lower eyelid caused by inflammation of a gland of the lid. The swelling or lump may be soft or firm. Fluid may be present within the lump. A chalazion is very common and usually goes away on its own without any special treatment. A chalazion does not cause vision problems unless the lump is so large that it distorts the surface of the eye, but this is rare. Pain is usually not present. A chalazion is also known as a meibomian cyst, tarsal cyst, or conjunctival granuloma.

Causes of a chalazion

A chalazion is caused by clogging of the narrow opening through which a meibomian gland of the eyelid secretes its material. This can be due to narrowing of the opening or hardening of the sebaceous liquid near the opening.


Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/16/2017

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