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What is a Chalazion?

An eyelid chalazion is simply a sty that does not go away. It is due to a blocked tear gland in the eyelid. It occurs due to a common condition called blepharitis, which cause the many tiny tear glands in the eyelids to produce thick oily secretions.

Symptoms of blepharitis include ocular irritation, itching, foreign body sensation, and swelling. It can be mild to severe, and can last days to many years. There are a variety of treatment options, including eyelid cleaning (baby shampoo scrubs, warm compresses), oral medication (doxcycycline), and ocular drops (Azasite and antibiotic/steroid combo drops).

A new sty can be painful, but that is usually temporary, lasting hours to days. A sty usually goes away on its own. However, some stys don’t go away and result in a chalazion, which is painless. It is a collection of thick mucus and inflammatory response. Treatment options depend on the size and exact location of the chalazion. Treatment options include aggressive eyelid hygiene, injection of specific medications (steroid, 5FU) into the chalazion, and surgical drainage.

Dr. Ray Taban has authored the first ever textbook chapter on the use of a special combination of steroid and 5FU mixture to inject chalazions, with usually results in resolution of the chalazion in days to a few weeks without leaving any scars. In fact, a similar injection can be used to treat facial and eyelid scars.


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