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Chalazion and Hordeolum



A chalazion is a non-infectious blockage of a meibomian  gland on the eyelid resulting in an acute red, elevated nodule on the lid.

A hordeolum is an infected gland (Moll, Zeiss, Meibomian) on the eyelid resulting in an acute, painful nodule on the lid.  An external hordeolum involves the Zeiss or Moll glands at the external edge of the eyelid.  An internal hordeolum is much rarer, but is an infection of the meibomian gland.  Often times, the infection has spread beyond the glands into the surrounding tissues and if left untreated, could become a serious problem.


A red nodule can form on either the upper or lower eyelid.  This can be tender to the touch or not..  These are also commonly called a stye.


The first line of treatment for a chalazion or hordeolum is warm, moist compresses.  The compresses are better if done for a longer period of time.  For example, doing a compress 2-3 times a day for 15 minutes is better than 5 times a day for 1-2 minutes.


For a hordeolum, oral antibiotics are necessary for the infection.  Topical antibiotics have little to no affect.  For a chalazion, if the compresses don’t work, the lesion can be injected with a steroid or can be surgically excised by Doctor Rostami, our Oculoplastic Surgeon.