Chalazion is an inflammation of a gland in the eyelid called the Mneimobius. It is due to a bacterial infection, most often of the Staphylococcus aureus type. A chalazion is not a serious condition, but can be annoying and unsightly, with a swollen eyelid covered by a small, red and painful mass. This condition can equally affect the upper and lower eyelids, and a patient may have many over the course of his life, affecting one eye or the other.
Typically, there are two evolutionary phases of chalazion:
- initially, only pain is present at the eyelid, without any other suggestive symptoms;
- then, a few hours to 2 days later, a small round mass, red and hotter than the surrounding skin may appear at the site of pain, of a size varying from one infection to another;
- the small swelling may be visible on the outside of the eyelid, felt on palpation only, or require the reversal of the eyelid to be seen;
- A few days later, the pain subsides and the mass is replaced by a small unsightly mass (cyst-like).
Chalazion is a disease whose diagnosis is clinical. It will be identified by the physician in the context of the symptoms mentioned by the patient.
The treatment of chalazion depends on the time at which it is diagnosed. If it is discovered during the painful stage, an ophthalmic ointment is applied to the painful area for about ten days. In case of a persistent mass, it may be necessary to make a small surgical incision.
The chalazion often occurs unexpectedly, making it difficult to prevent. It is however more common in some populations, particularly diabetics, hence the need to take charge quickly when there is any suspicion to prevent its progression to the cystic stage.