Meibomian cysts (Chalazion)

A meibomian cyst (or chalazion) is an enlargement of the glands that lie within the eyelid and which secrete lipids. The cyst is probably caused by a blocked duct to the gland and then a local reaction to the accumulation of the lipid occurs.

It is first noticed as a lump in the eyelid which becomes inflamed and painful and is sometimes mistaken for a stye. After the initial inflammation, the lump remains and can be uncomfortable and interfere with the vision.

Some will settle with hot bathing and antibiotic ointment. However, they may need removing which is a simple operation for someone who is trained in the procedure. You may need referral to an eye specialist for this. Occasionally they recur.

Further information

This article published on
08 February 2006

Next review date 2/1/2013


First aid

Areaof the body

Eyes, ears, nose, throat

Male or female?


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