Chalazion in Children
What are chalazions in children?
A chalazion (kuh-LAY-zee-un) is a slow-growing, painless lump in the eyelid that forms because of the swelling of an oil gland. It’s more common in adults between ages 30 and 50 than in children.
What causes a chalazion in a child?
A chalazion is caused by a blocked oil gland in the eyelid. This can occur after a viral infection, or with a skin problem such as seborrhea or acne rosacea.
Which children are at risk for a chalazion?
A child is more at risk for a chalazion if he or she has any of these:
- Viral infection
- Acne rosacea
- Chronic blepharitis
These risk factors are more common in adults than children.
What are the symptoms of a chalazion in a child?
Symptoms can occur a bit differently in each child. They can include:
- A small bump in the eyelid that can be felt
- Swelling of the eyelid over time
- Pain or trouble seeing if the chalazion is large
The symptoms of a chalazion can be like other health conditions. Make sure your child sees his or her healthcare provider for a diagnosis.
How is a chalazion diagnosed in a child?
The healthcare provider will ask about your child’s symptoms and health history. He or she may also ask about your family’s health history. He or she will give your child a physical exam. Tests are not usually needed to confirm the diagnosis.
How is a chalazion treated in a child?
Treatment will depend on your child’s symptoms, age, and general health. It will also depend on how severe the condition is.
A small chalazion may go away on without treatment in a couple of months. A large chalazion or an infection caused by it may need to be treated. Treatment may include:
- Applying warm, moist compresses to your child's eyes for 15 minutes at a time several times a day
- Telling your child not to rub his or her eyes or squeeze or rub the chalazion
- Having your child wash his or her hands often
- Antibiotic eye drops
If symptoms don’t get better, surgery may be needed to drain or remove the chalazion.
What are possible complications of a chalazion in a child?
If the chalazion becomes infected, the entire eyelid may become swollen and painful.
Key points about a chalazion in children
- A chalazion is a slow-growing, painless lump in the eyelid that forms because of the swelling of an oil gland.
- It’s caused by a blocked oil gland in the eyelid.
- If the chalazion becomes infected, the entire eyelid may become swollen and painful.
- A small chalazion may go away on without treatment in a couple of months.
- A large chalazion or an infection caused by it may need to be treated with warm, moist compresses and antibiotic eye drops.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your child’s healthcare provider:
- Know the reason for the visit and what you want to happen.
- Before your visit, write down questions you want answered.
- At the visit, write down the name of a new diagnosis, and any new medicines, treatments, or tests. Also write down any new instructions your provider gives you for your child.
- Know why a new medicine or treatment is prescribed and how it will help your child. Also know what the side effects are.
- Ask if your child’s condition can be treated in other ways.
- Know why a test or procedure is recommended and what the results could mean.
- Know what to expect if your child does not take the medicine or have the test or procedure.
- If your child has a follow-up appointment, write down the date, time, and purpose for that visit.
- Know how you can contact your child’s provider after office hours. This is important if your child becomes ill and you have questions or need advice.