This is a large lump that forms in the eyelid. They occur when one of the oil-producing meibomian glands that run along the eyelid margin become blocked.  Oil backs up into the eyelid, and causes a large bump … this can be tender at first but usually becomes painless with time. Sometimes warm compresses and massage can make these chalazions drain away on their own.  Often, however, an inflammatory “capsule” will form around the oil and the bump remains no matter how aggressive you are with massage. In these cases we can manually drain the chalazion. This involves numbing the skin with lidocaine, flipping the eyelid over, and draining the chalazion from the inside of the eyelid (to avoid scarring on the outer eyelid skin). This speeds recovery, but the chalazion can still take many months to go away completely.

Dr. Timothy Root is a practicing ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon in Daytona Beach, Florida. His books, video lectures, and training resources can be found at:


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