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What causes a chalazion?

The narrow opening through which a meibomian gland secretes its material can become clogged from narrowing of the opening or hardening of the sebaceous liquid near the opening. If this occurs, the gland will have a backup of the material it secretes and the obstructed gland will swell. This leads to thickening of the walls of the gland and leakage of oil into the lid itself, causing inflammation both within the gland and the eyelid. This inflamed enlargement is a chalazion.

Return to Chalazion

See what others are saying

Comment from: M. Gregori, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: February 23

I used to suffer from chalazia very often until I met a doctor who told me what to do to prevent them. He told me to clean my eyes every day (the eyelash areas) with soft soap and, most importantly (this is the crucial step, as I used to clean my eyes with soft soap every day when I had the chalazia, and that alone did not work), to dry my eyes with a sterile gauze, scratching very, very hard the eyelash area (in the direction of the eyelash, from top to bottom, and also from the nose-side to the ear-side of the eyelash to reach the lower ones. I think the most problematic ones are the ones in the upper eyelid, at least, that has been my case). Apparently the chalazia appear due to blocked eyelash conduits in the eyelash base, and the heavy scratching helps to keep them clean. I try to do this every time I wake up from sleep, and before going to sleep, but sometimes I have slept one night and nothing happened. I guess the blocking takes longer than that, but why take the risk! Just try to do it every morning when you wake up and every night before going to sleep. This is what I do most of the time and I have not had any chalazion in more than 2.5 years (and I used to get them constantly before!). Good luck with it. I hope this helps.

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Comment from: pookie, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I have never had a chalazion before in my life until after I had my baby. About 2 months after the small white looking bump appeared on the corner of my lower eye lid. For me it was the hormones.

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Comment from: EyeAmMike, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 05

I routinely had chalazia appear. They were so bad I had to have them surgically removed by my ophthalmologist. On a routine visit to my dermatologist I told him of my dilemma. He informed me that my slight case of rosacea is likely the cause of them. He prescribed 500 mg tetracycline once per day. I used it for years and was 100% chalazion free until recently; it is no longer available. Now I'm on doxycycline and guess what... I now have a chalazion.

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