A chalazion is a lump in the eyelid that is caused by blockage of the Meibomian Glands. These eyelid glands are responsible for the production of the oil component of lubricating tears.

Chalazia look similar to sties, but sties are the result of the glands becoming infected. Chalazia can often be treated by directly applying warm water compresses for five to ten minutes, three or four times a day. Compressing the lids with a fingertip is usually successful in getting the blockage to clear, allowing drainage of the cloudy contents of the glands.If unsuccessful, your doctor may need to create a small incision to allow the gland to drain.

Many people that develop chalazia are prone to have recurrences, particularly those with blepharitis. Regular cleaning of the eyelid margins may help prevent them.