chalazions and what to do about them

A few years ago, I got a mysterious inflamed bump on my eyelid, which I later learned was a “chalazion” – something I had never heard of before.sad eyelid bumpsOuch ouch and ugly and embarrassing!ouch eyelid chalazionI didn’t know what it was, I was uninsured, and I was busy stressing about grad school, so I let it grow and then harden into a less-inflamed but more permanent lump. Later, a dear family friend [and doctor] diagnosed me over the phone, and told me to go see somebody. After a few calls, I found somebody who would remove it, talked my parents into funding it, received a small but icky surgery, and was well on my way to healing.

But then they started coming back! The second time I went in, I had 3 or 4 removed at once, on both eyes. Not fun. And when I asked how to prevent them, I was told to continue keeping my eyelids clean with some expensive eyewashing pads, but that they would keep coming back anyway since I was prone to them. Frustrating! The next time one started, I went to see an “eyelid specialist” and he told me a similar story. BUT he also said to use hot compresses a lot more and to try washing with baby shampoo as a last resort.

The baby shampoo + washcloth helped. (I have since switched to more natural cleansers, with the same results. Just having fewer chemicals in my life.) But what worked really REALLY well was regular hot water compresses. I want to share my procedure. You can combine this with your surgery if you need one, and also use it for prevention (it will even reverse small new chalazions.)

(First go do all your research about what a chalazion IS, and see your doc if needed.)

1. Do this every time you shower. It’s way less messy than over the sink, you get enough water, and it’s very easy to remember to shower every day. You can add additional compresses in between but this will give you a base of one great eye-soak every day.

2. Wash your face and gently scrub your eyelids with gentle soap and washcloth. Keep them closed; soap stings. Rinse.

3. Use washcloth to gently rub eyelid back and forth. Imagine trapped oil melting away and your oil glands becoming unclogged along your lash line. Slight eye-rubbing seems very helpful for loosening things, just don’t do it with dirty hands.

4. Fold your washcloth into a compress and drench with hot (shower-temperature) water. Soak eyes. Think about life. Repeat (refreshing the hot water) for 5 minutes. One minute is enough if you are just preventing.

washcloth compress for soakingTa-da! Prevented. Whenever I find some eyelid irritation starting, I get more serious about this regimen and it clears right up. No more surgeries for me. I hope this helps you too.

Other things that seem to help are getting sleep, eating healthy foods, and reducing stress… but I know those are easier said than done. Now start soaking!

This entry was posted in Comics, Life. Bookmark the permalink.

55 Responses to chalazions and what to do about them

  1. Chi says:

    Maya, love the illustrations that come with your blog posts. Unique and funny. Wish I had that talent.

  2. Dear Sister, The week before the conference I could feel one coming on, and I jumped full-force into the compress technique, because I know it works. And it did! Successful conference sans chalizion! I’m passing this on to a friend who may have something similar.

    • Maya says:

      Yay! I’m so glad it helped. I still think we need to have a family conference or something about our health. What we each have dealt with – esp. solutions – we should share! We share DNA after all, and it would probably be useful info! haha. Thanks for spreading the word; hope your friend feels better soon.

  3. Anne Mendoza says:

    Thank you for sharing! I have Chalazions for the nth time already! And it’s making my confidence to go down.

  4. Anne Mendoza says:

    Hey! Is it okay to do this while there is a chalazion in ur eye?

  5. Anne Mendoza says:

    What do you mean by?

    “it will even reverse small new chalazions”

    Thanks for answering! I just want to get rid of this chalazion that always appear on my eyes :(

    • Maya says:

      Please try it – I do it when there are new chalazions showing up and it can make them go away… it’s worth a try because it won’t hurt you. Soak soak soak! (do whatever your doc says too) Good luck!

      *By “new” I mean they are still inflamed. After a few months they get hard and kind of “settle down” with less redness (for me anyway) and I had all of those surgically removed. But since I started soaking like this, none ever get to that point. They go away. I hope everything works out for you.

      • Anne Mendoza says:

        Yay! It do work! My chalazions were very painful last night and very inflamed. But when I soaked it and put hot compress on it before I went to bed, when I woke up this morning it is not that inflamed anymore! But there are dry bloods on it :( Thanks you! I will soak my eyes everytime I feel that there is a new chalazion thaw will invade my eyes again! :)

        • Maya says:

          Great! Keep soaking; you can try doing it a few times a day if you have active chalazions. Also remember that I’m not a doctor, just sharing what worked for me! Thanks for updating, I’m so glad my story helped you.

          • Anne Mendoza says:

            My chalazions are now gone! I hope It’ll not come back! Thanks for sharing! I’ve been looking for a solution, since I don’t have enough money to have it removed. Thank you so much!

  6. ar says:

    hi so i have a chalazion, and i do the hot compresses but i’m not really seeing results. what do you recommend, and what about the baby shampoo?
    thanks :)

    • Maya says:

      Hello! This is just what worked for me. If it’s not going away, I would talk to a doctor. Good luck! (The baby shampoo just helped to remove oils, I think.)

  7. ar says:

    ok thanks! and did you just do compresses while showering or did you do it a couple times a day? sorry for the questions

    • Maya says:

      Multiple times per day when I have an active one. The more the better! Ten times if I can remember. The shower is just a way to get a longer soak, and to remember more easily. :)

  8. Lisa says:

    Hi. Thanks for the blog. I just had surgery last week (the chalazion was BAD- had waited months to see the doc’). Eyes clear for 5 days, now a new one forming inside surgery eye. I did compresses. There is a small bubble like formation toward inside eye and it is still there after compress. Does that need to “burst”, or not be seen, to conclude the compresses worked? Hope you see this post! Thanks.

    • Maya says:

      Hi Lisa! No, that doesn’t really “burst” – if you keep doing compresses for a week, and the formation kind of fades away gradually, it will mean it has worked. Good luck! I have some starting too and I’m hoping to soak them away.

  9. Jelena Ristic says:


    Have you heard of MGP? It stands for meibomian gland probing and may be the answer to your chalazion problems – especially if they keep recurring. This is an article I wrote about it after having the procedure to address some styes on my left eye lid as well as Meibomian Gland Dysfunction. Hope it helps!

    Why MGP Should be both the Patient’s
    and Ophthalmologist’s First Choice in Treating Dry Eyes and Chalazia

    Before I begin, I would like to both introduce myself and my motivations for writing this article. My name is Jelena Ristic and I am a college instructor of writing and grammar in Toronto, Canada as well as a former sufferer of dry eyes. I am also a patient of Dr. Gulani who works and resides in Jacksonville Florida. Yes, that’s right, my ophthalmologist is in Jacksonville, and I live in Toronto. This surprising fact brings me to my motivations for writing this article.

    a. I am positively astounded at both the instantaneous and long term results MGP has achieved in treating my dry eyes and three quite prominent chalazia at once on the same eyelid and wish to share my experience with patients and ophthalmologists alike.

    b. I am equally astounded that more ophthalmologists in the U.S. and as far as I know, any in Canada have not adopted MGP into their practices given its phenomenal results in addressing all manner of dry eyes and their symptoms, including chalazia.

    In this article I will discuss the following:
    a. What MGP is and what it can achieve for dry eye sufferers.
    b. What is involved from a patient’s perspective in MGP. This means details like what to expect before treatment, during and after. For the type who appreciates a spoiler, I promise MGP does not hurt a bit. In fact I’m quite positive that even before getting up out of the ophthalmologist’s chair, patients who undergo MGP will develop uncontrollable grins on their faces from ear to ear because they’ll already have felt the relief they’ve been hoping for… likely for years.
    c. Why MGP from my point of view as a patient should always be attempted to treat chalazia before chalazion surgery is even considered.
    d. A brief personal account of my experience with MGP.

    What is MGP?
    MGP stands for meibomian gland probing, a procedure by which a patient’s meibomian glands are cleared of a build up of their own dried up tears, and in the case where chalazia are present, some backed up sebum, in order to allow the lipids produced in the patient’s meibomian glands to freely flow re-entering and rebalancing the patient’s unbalanced tear film – always the cause of dry eyes and their associated complications. However, before a patient can appreciate how ingenious, simple, and most importantly, effective meibomian gland probing is as a treatment for all cases of dry eyes, and chalazia, it’s important that the patient understands a little about what causes both.

    Causes of Dry Eyes:
    Depending on how far back one wishes to go to identify a cause, it can be said that many conditions from grave autoimmune disorders to very natural and expected hormonal deficiencies such as those experienced by menopausal women, or even antihistamines often taken for common allergies can cause dry eyes along with all of their very irritating symptoms, and very often they do. (Mayo Clinic 2010) However, also, many times such conditions may be present even though the common dry eye symptoms are not because either the gravity of the condition or the ability of the individual’s body to deal with it is such that it does not unbalance the tear film enough to cause obvious symptoms such as excess tearing, redness, itching and a gritty feeling that would alert the individual that there was indeed a problem developing. So, considering this, it is most accurate to say that dry eyes are caused when an individual’s tear film becomes unbalanced for any reason with or without symptoms that are detectable to the patient alone.

    The two main sources of imbalance come from the suffering individual’s inability to produce:

    a. Enough tears to adequately lubricate the cornea. This is known as aqueous tear deficiency. (NEI, 2009).
    b. Adequate or good quality lipids to prevent tears from evaporating from the cornea. This is known as evaporative dry eye. (NEI, 2009).

    In either case, meibomian gland probing is of great use in rebalancing the tear film and reducing and or eradicating the symptoms of dry eyes. In the case of aqueous tear deficiency, when meibomian glands are functioning at an optimal instead of impaired capacity due to build up along, or blockages in the meibomian glands, the lipids that flow from them are then more efficiently and abundantly deposited into the tear film to hopefully prevent enough of the now more scarce tears produced by the tear ducts from evaporating off of the cornea to mitigate the symptoms of aqueous dry eye. In other words, MGP, by optimizing the flow of these lipids should set into motion a positive domino effect whereby the increased flow of protective lipids into the tear film results in the decreased evaporation of the already scarce tears being produced in the case of aqueous tear deficiency, which in turn allows the eye surface to remain more lubricated and consequently, diminishes dry eye symptoms such as feelings of grittiness, itching, burning, soreness and foreign body sensation, as well as predisposition to styes and also chalazia. (Begley, Caffry, Chalmers, Mitchell)

    Now, let’s do a quick re-cap just to be perfectly clear. In the case of aqueous tear deficiency MGP should achieve the following:

    a. work to prevent excess evaporation of already scarce tears from the cornea
    b. increase overall lubrication of the cornea
    c. reduce and or eliminate dry eye symptoms such as grittiness, itching, burning, soreness and foreign body sensation.
    d. reduce the patient’s predisposition to styes and chalazia

    In the case of evaporative dry eye, the results are even better because unlike in the case of aqueous tear deficiency where MGP works very effectively to support the patient with the original problem, in this case, MGP directly addresses the original problem. Evaporative dry eye is caused by meibomian gland dysfunction. This is the clinical term for chronically obstructed meibomian glands that do not produce enough, or produce a poor quality of lipid that consequently cannot be deposited onto the tear film at an adequate rate to keep tears from excessively evaporating from the surface of the cornea and hence cause dry eyes. (Norfleet 2011) In patients who suffer from evaporative dry eye, there is no better, nor less labour intensive approach on their part to deal with their dry eyes. Literally, their trapped tears are freed to resume their job in lubricating and protecting their corneas instantaneously. (Gulani, 2011)

    What is even more impressive is that MGP does not require the patient, like most dry eye treatments do, to remain a perpetual slave to eye drops and hot compresses in an effort to do for the body what it can very well do for itself – produce lipids, hang on to tears and keep the tear film balanced.

    Causes of Chalazia:
    In short, chalazia are caused by completely obstructed meibomian glands. When a meibomian gland becomes completely obstructed with dried up or poor quality lipids, or due to inflammation from blepharitis or a stye, a chalazion forms. Chalazia are formed by lipids that back up into the meibomian gland and cause it to swell simply because they cannot exit the eyelid. The longer a Chalazion is left untreated and the gland remains blocked, the larger the chalazion grows and the more damage it does to the tissue of the patient’s eyelid. Very large chalazia can cause permanent scarring that can only be corrected with surgery; however, with patient education and a quick response by an ophthalmologist proficient in performing MGP, there is no need for chalazia to ever grow so large. At early onset of a bump on the eyelid, the glands can simply be cleared allowing the backed up lipids to drain and thus prevent any permanent damage to the eyelid that might later require surgery to fix.

    MGP – The Procedure from the Patient’s Perspective:

    Since the procedure is a manual one whereby the ophthalmologist inserts a tiny probe into each meibomian gland with which to scrape away blockages and debris, freezing is obviously necessary. However, the freezing does not come in the traditional form of a needle full of lidocaine inserted near each eye, but in the far more interesting and non-invasive approach of applying lidocaine laced jojoba butter onto the eye lids. It feels a little greasy and messy, and the patient can’t see much at all once the butter is applied because it makes his or her vision very blurry, but it works like a charm and the patient feels absolutely no pain whatsoever. The jojoba oil is the same consistency as the lipids in the meibomian glands, so the glands easily and readily soak it all the way up into the lids carrying the lidocaine with it, and voilà, after a little waiting, the eyelids are completely frozen.

    The next step is having a seat in the ophthalmologist’s chair and leaning one’s head firmly into the band for the forehead, to give the ophthalmologist a little resistance so he or she can better get at the eyelids and glands with the probe. The ophthalmologist uses a magnifying lens to get a good view of the glands to be cleaned and one by one inserts the probe in each and works away in it until the lipids start to flow freely again. It’s at this point that most people will likely start smiling uncontrollably because they’ll literally feel their lids get lighter and their eyes become more moist and comfortable. The best part is when they take a look in the mirror and see bright shiny eyes staring back at them instead of the dull tired ones they likely sat down in the chair with initially. The results are both instantaneous and lasting.

    The after care is simple. Due to the glands having been probed and having been a little irritated, it’s important to ensure they are protected from infection and soothed. For these reasons some eye drops will be prescribed. They will be used for about ten days, two times a day along with a five minute hot compress with a face towel, as warm as can be tolerated, simply lain over the whole face. The after care is actually relaxing. After those ten days, all that is required to maintain results is the same warm compress twice a day for five minutes only, preferably morning and night. No more eye drops unless exposure for several hours to excessively dry environments (such as airplane cabins) is unavoidable, nor incessant hot compresses for fifteen or twenty minutes each time, four times a day, nor humidifying goggles, nor whatever else was being employed in desperation to lubricate and protect the eyes the way only a person’s own tears can.

    Why MGP Should Always Be Attempted to Clear Chalazia Before Chalazian Surgery is Considered:

    From my point of view as a patient, there are four clear reasons why I would always opt for MGP as the first approach to trying to clear chalazia, even large ones, before I would ever consider chalazion surgery. They are listed and explained below in order of importance from my perspective as a patient.

    Potential for Trauma:
    Although I realize chalazion surgery is quite routine and generally has a low incidence of complication, I’m sure anyone would agree that, nonetheless, a tiny probe used to gently scrape away debris from inside of clogged glands allowing them to drain naturally, has a much lower potential to cause trauma to the eyelid than a scalpel used to cut clear through the underside of the eyelid to get at a chalazion within it. A person neither has to be a doctor nor a rocket scientist to appreciate this.

    Every medical procedure comes with risks, benefits and a consent form to sign, but no rewind button nor ‘undo’ option. Once tissue has been cut with a scalpel, no one can predict how that tissue will heal in response. It may heal up just fine as many people’s does, or like in the case of a very dear friend and colleague of mine, a severe infection may develop that immediately requires a second surgery adding to the initial trauma, and results in excess scarring to the eyelid that not only leaves it permanently disfigured, but also more susceptible than ever to dry eye as the glands that are meant to protect it from dry eye have been damaged and the lid itself can no longer completely close over the eye’s surface. Or perhaps a person might land somewhere mid way on this admittedly dramatic continuum. But,…why? Why risk this even if it is a one in a million occurrence when a much less traumatic alternative exists? It simply doesn’t make sense when no one can predict, nor would be willing to promise which patient anyone might be, the routine successful kind, or the one with the unexpected response riddled with complications, some, potentially irreversible. (Bupa’s Health Information Team Aug 2011)

    Permanent vs Temporary Solutions:
    Meibomian gland probing addresses the problem of dry eyes; chalazion surgery skirts it. It’s that simple. That is my second argument for treating chalazia with meibomian gland probing instead of chalazion surgery. Put another way…If a person were locked in his or her house because the lock on the front door jammed, should that person call a locksmith to come fix the lock in order to get out, or should that person call a demolition company to arrive with a crane and wrecking ball to put a hole in the roof and be dragged out? Which of the two options would solve the problem most accurately, expediently, elegantly and permanently? Clearly, I’m assuming the answer is self evident.

    Chalazion surgery removes chalazia and leaves the eyes in the exact same state they were in, which incidentally, caused the chalazion to form in the first place. That is why many people end up having several chalazion surgeries. Chalazion surgery only removes the symptom and does nothing to address the problem because it does nothing to address the blocked glands which cause… chalazia. Meibomian gland probing on the other hand, addresses the problem and with some patience and attention from the patient via hot compresses and letting a few months go by, even very large chalazia can naturally clear, and much more likely, never return.

    Time is On the Patient’s Side:
    Finally, if MGP does not manage to clear a chalazion, surgery can be performed at any time to improve the appearance of the eyelid. In the meantime, what can be expected is the prevention of recurrence of any dry eye symptoms, including more chalazia. I have friends who themselves, or for their children, have waited months for chalazia to disappear on their own, and most often they have. It can take many months and I’ve read on some blogs where people post advice and their own personal experiences, even up to a year or more for very large or stubborn ones to disappear, but they can and often do.

    Quality of Life Post Procedure:
    Here again, MGP comes out on top, hands down. After about ten days of drops and adopting a regime of short five minute hot compresses, a completely normal active life can be resumed. This means in exchange for applying a warm face towel to the eyes for five short minutes twice a day, morning and night (incidentally, a nice opportunity to reflect or relax at the beginning and end of the day), patients can wear make-up, go out in the sun, exercise and sweat worry free and most importantly, emancipate themselves from the slavery of the ‘old’ long daily hot compresses every four to six hours in a losing battle to keep symptoms at bay. They can also expect not to experience any more symptoms of dry eyes such as tearing, itching, grittiness, blepharitis, styes or chalazia.

    In the case of chalazion surgery, it’s a whole other story. Patients can expect to experience quite a lot of pain and soreness in the eyelid that was operated on for a few days. They can also expect to feel discomfort from the scar tissue that will form on the underside of their eyelid and rub up against their cornea after the surgery. This scar tissue diminishes in time, but it can be bothersome enough to cause the eye to constantly tear even as long as several months after the procedure because it constantly feels as though there is something in it. Finally, patients can expect all of their other dry eye symptoms to return because their dry eye has not been addressed, and hence, they will also be instructed to diligently keep up with their hot compresses and avoid eye make-up altogether to try to prevent the recurrence of more chalazia as having had one, it has now been determined they are predisposed to them.

    Given the four reasons I have discussed above, I cannot think of any reason why a patient, if the option is available to them, would opt for chalazion surgery over MGP when MGP is a. less invasive, b. offers a cure versus a temporary treatment c. allows the patient cosmetic options and d. offers a much improved quality of life post procedure.

    This brings me to how I ended up choosing Dr. Gulani to be my ophthalmologist when I live in Toronto, Canada and he lives and works in Jacksonville, Florida.

    My Personal Experience With MGP:

    After two cases of infectious blepharitis, an internal stye, one unsuccessful cortisone shot, two severe allergic reactions to antibiotics, four consecutive months of relentless hot compresses, three rock hard chalazia firmly parked on the inner corner of my upper left eyelid and countless hours logged furiously searching for solutions on Google, I found myself sitting in an ophthalmologist’s chair in Jacksonville Florida face to face with Dr. Gulani who was intently listening to me recount my patient history. At the end of it, instead of giving his opinion right away, he did something unusual. He asked me why I had chosen to fly all the way to Jacksonville specifically seeking out MGP. What did I think it could do for me? My answer was the abridged version of what I have already written above. It went something like this. “I’ve done a lot of research on dry eyes, chalazia, chalazion surgery and after stumbling upon a video of you performing MGP, researched it as well, and I’ve come to believe that it not only has real potential to clear my chalazia, but also to cure me of the severe dry eye condition I have that caused them in the first place. I’m terrified of running into the complications of chalazion surgery, so would prefer to exhaust all my options before even putting that on the table, and in Toronto, chalazion surgery along with frequent hot compresses for the rest of my life was the only option offered to me, with very low probability that a. my chalazia would not come back and b. that my dry eyes would be improved, let alone cured.” In other words, but I didn’t say it quite like this despite how intensely I was feeling it at the moment, I felt that choosing to be treated by Dr Gulani with MGP was quite sincerely my only hope for a decent quality of life and perhaps even a normal eyelid again.

    Dr Gulani was pleased with my official answer, but protectively doubtful of my optimism as far as clearing the three chalazia was concerned. He did not wish to raise my expectations too high given the state my eye was in. That state was truthfully, quite bad. After extensive inflammation due to infection and the stress of two prolonged allergic reactions, the tissue of the affected part of my eyelid felt more like cartilage than skin. Furthermore, my left lid was drooping over my eye to easily a third of the way closed, and my left eyebrow was arched clearly above the point where it should have fallen in line with my right, causing him to strongly suspect that the cortisone shot I had received had caused ptosis (permanent drooping of the eyelid). Ever the consummate professional, he shared his view of my situation by first reassuring me it was all very fixable but perhaps not with MGP alone. He wholeheartedly agreed that MGP was the correct first step as my glands were so blocked nothing was coming out of them upon palpation (pressing) which verified that indeed my dry eye was very severe. He then went on to say that the ptosis could be fixed with a very common and successful oculoplasty procedure and furthermore, that if six months after the MGP procedure my chalazia were still large enough to be cosmetically bothersome, I could return then and have chalazion surgery performed. Needless to say, I wasn’t jumping out of the seat with joy after hearing all of this, but my stubborn belief in what I thought MGP could do and Dr. Gulani’s absolute confidence in what he could do for me managed to ease my rattled nerves and we got down to business.

    It only took about half way through the procedure before that grin I mentioned at the beginning of this article began to emerge on my face. By the time the MGP was over, I couldn’t stop smiling because I felt such immense relief. My eyes felt as though they’d been engulfed by warm liquid satin and when I looked in the mirror they were more shiny than I could ever remember them being. It made me forget for a little while about the still swollen ridge of scar tissue on my drooping left eyelid. Five days later at a follow up visit I proudly showed Dr. Gulani that the scarring on my left lid was already noticeably diminished. It was, just a little, but a little is a lot when for months you’ve suffered repeatedly to only get progressively worse. In that context, the improvement was akin to a victory to me. He was pleasantly surprised and sent me on my way asking me to keep him posted on my progress. That day was May 28th of 2011. This Christmas, I sent him an update stating that I definitely would not be needing chalazion surgery. The cartilage-like scarring on my left eyelid is now gone and what is left is a little uneven texture just under my skin which is except to me, invisible and absolutely nothing worth taking a scalpel to. My left eyebrow has resumed its proper position across from my right, and my left eyelid now remains open just as widely as my right. So, thankfully, no ptosis! Instead, I’m wearing lots of mascara and big satisfied smiles.

    In my case MGP was wildly and unexpectedly successful even though I showed up late in the game after considerable damage had been done. Needless to say, ideally, a patient should be treated as soon as the formation of a chalazion begins in order to reap maximum benefit as far as the procedure’s efficacy goes in clearing chalazia. Had I known about MGP and had easy access to it as soon as my first chalazion had begun to develop, I would have been spared the great stress of chasing various non-surgical solutions to finally hear that I might likely have to have not one, but two surgeries to correct the damage that had been done in the process.

    Final Words:
    The bottom line is MGP is an elegant, highly efficient and effective procedure that not only addresses the symptoms of dry eyes, but works to cure them. It is easy on the patient and offers the patient a more improved quality of life than any other approach available for dealing with dry eyes.

    Sadly, however, very few ophthalmologists have incorporated it into their practices so that only those patients who are savvy enough to have discovered it themselves, and also financially well off enough to (likely) fly to another city far from their own to have it performed may benefit from it.

    Because I am not familiar enough with the medical and insurance systems of the U.S., I am restricting myself to commenting on the financial inefficiency this reality I imagine must cause the Canadian health care system where most treatments for dry eyes are paid for by the government through programs such as OHIP. I must have visited an ophthalmologist, doctor’s office or emergency room a total of 20 times in four months for all the issues I cited above, and I’m quite sure the visits would have only continued given the extreme state of my dry eyes had I not had MGP performed. I surely would have had at least one chalazion surgery, if not more over the next several months or years, each with follow up visits of course. MGP requires an ophthalmologist’s magnifying lens, a few gauge probes to choose from, some jojoba butter, lidocaine, and certainly, the cost of training. I’m pretty sure all but the training is very affordable or already available, and even if the training would cost a few thousand dollars to complete, given that millions of people suffer from dry eye in North America alone, I can only imagine the savings to the Canadian government in technically unnecessary visits to already overburdened specialists offices would have to be considerable. (Gulani 2011) Furthermore, the chairs that former dry eye suffers would leave empty could be filled with patients suffering from other forms of ocular disease and degeneration who really do require frequent ongoing care which would then result in money being much better spent.

    MGP is a very viable answer to millions of dry eye suffers’ quests for a real and long lasting solution for their dry eyes and in Canada, it seems very likely it would help to address at least one aspect of a strained health care system.

    If you found this article informative, I hope you will look forward to the release of my e-book which will comprehensively discuss the issues of dry eyes, styes, chalazia and their various causes and cures later on this year. Both in the absence and presence of MGP there are many actions you can take to diminish symptoms and maximize results. If you send me an e-mail at, I’ll be sure to keep you updated.


    Mayo Clinic staff. ” Dry Eyes.” Jun12th, 2010. (accessed Oct 23, 2011)
    “Facts About Dry Eye.” National Eye Institute Aug, 2009. (accessed Oct 24, 2011)
    Begley C., Caffry B., Chalmers R. , Mitchell L. “Use of the Dry Eye Questionnaire (DEQ) to Measure Symptoms of Ocular Irritation in Patients with Aqueous Tear Deficient Dry Eye .” February 24, 2012)
    “Consensus Findings On Meibomian Gland Dysfunction Published In Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science” Medical News Today. Apr 1st, 2011. (accessed Oct 24,2011)
    Gulani, Arun. “Dry Eye Treatment.” May 27, 2011. (accessed February 23, 2012)
    “Chalazion Removal.” Bupa. Aug, 2011. (accessed Oct 24, 2011)

  10. MoOn WalKer says:

    Hi :) Thanx for all this imoprtant informations , i will try wash cloth compress …
    i hope it will works !!

  11. Jane says:

    When doing hot compresses, try dissolving Epsom salt when you boil your water.

    1 C. water
    1 C. Epsom salt

    Salt has a “drawing out” quality and will literally draw out the ooze from the chlazion wax buildup.

    It worked for me.

  12. AK says:

    I’ve found 1 tablespoon/day of flax seed oil prevents chalazians. Preventative medicine
    - the best kind!

  13. Eye-ra says:

    Thank you for this very helpful post! I’m getting a chalazion surgery soon.. How long do we have to wait til we can face a computer screen again post-surgery?

  14. Zuha says:

    I’ve had a weird red bump /inside/ my eyelids (in my upper left eyelid and my lower right eyelid), and I’m pretty sure they might be chalazions. They’re not actually very noticeable; they’re actually kinda small. But they’ve been there for at least two months, if I’m not mistaken.

    I’ve started applying a warm/hot compress on them starting yesterday, and they seem to be getting bigger and paler. I’m just worried that they’ll cause permanent damage to my eyes or something; I’m thirteen and I’m pretty sure I can’t afford a ‘surgery’ for this. Plus, I don’t wanna get my parents to buy eye-drops from something that can heal on its own.

    Any help in quickening the process?

  15. Neil says:

    Hi there. I wanted to write because you provided helpful information. I also wanted to write about my own chalazion experience because I have googled and researched on the internet for a month since December 2012 and very little helpful or useful information is posted on many of the threads I read. I liked yours because it actually allows other users to post as well as follow-up and read similar issues and how it was handled.

    I had a 7″ silver beaded snowflake ornament fall and hit me in the eye while I was at work in December. I didn’t really think anything about it until the next day when I woke up and my eye was swollen and looked like someone punched me. I went to the doctor and he told me I had a scratched cornea and that the swelling should go down in a few days and the cornea would heal itself within 2 to 3 days.

    During the eye examination the doctor did not wash his hands in front of me nor did he wear gloves. I found this really disappointing because I always hear how germs are spread via eyes and mouth due to mucous membranes. Anyway, I booked a follow up visit for the end of the week.

    By Friday, my cornea felt a lot better, but I noticed a lump forming on my lower left lid. I was told it was probably from a blocked gland (apparently we have 40 oil/tear glands on the upper lid and 30 glands on the lower lid). The doctor told me it was probably caused from the swelling that occured and also as an end result of bacteria getting in and blocking my gland from all the “handling” I was doing to treat my scratched cornea.

    Now I have insurance so I went to see my primary care physician, Urgent Care physician, 2 opthamalogists, and my optometrist (vision eye exam).

    As you can imagine everyone talked about the warm compresses which I did religiously several times a day. It never really seemed to work as well as I had hoped. I also unsucessfully tried several tips and tricks that I found over the internet such as:
    (1) apply hot green tea bags being placed on the stye/chalazion; apparently the tannic acids in the tea are supposed to soothe and reduce the swelling and inflamation. It really didn’t do anything other than stain my towels and sink.
    (2) sterilize a gold ring (the higher the carats the better); supposedly it was an old wive’s tale that the elements in gold cannot be broken down by bacteria and that it combats and continues to fight against the bacteria; It didn’t work.
    (3) Epsom salt; mix epsom salt into the hot water compress and then apply to eye; The compresses seem to help, but not sure if the epsom salt did anything per se.
    (4) Sea salt; I watched a youtube video of a make up artist who swore that sea salts cures styes and chalazions. He suggested doing an “eye wash” and didn’t specify

  16. Neil says:

    exactly how to do it. I mixed sea salt and water in a bowl and created my own salt water to flush my eye out. Please note, if you buy sea salt at Whole Foods you need to get the super fine or fine crystals. Otherwise, the larger crystals won’t dissolve properly. But I did one better and literally went to the beach jumped in the water and opened my eyes in the water. It stung, but did it help? The swelling was much smaller the next day.
    (5) Johnson’s Baby Shampoo; I read that you can use Johnson’s Baby Shampoo to clean your eyes and supposedly there are no detergents in it that make your eyes burn. However, I can attest my eyes did sting, burn, and turn read after trying this method. I think the person who posted the thread failed to mention a few specifics. For example, I think the baby shampoo method is good for PREVENTION of styes and chalazions as a means to keep your eyelids and oil glands free from blockage. I honestly don’t think it does anything once you have the actual stye or chalazion. At least it didn’t for me. I read that after you have washed your hands with anti-bacterial soap to put a dime size amount of baby shampoo into your damp hands. You work up a lather and you use each of your fingers to massage the chalazion. For example, start with your index finger and gently massage with 10 strokes. Then move on to the next finger and so forth until you’ve used both hands. I think this method is a means to soften the chalazion and prevent a hard cyst from forming. In my case, I went from a soft chalazion to a hard chalazion to a now soft chalazion again.
    (6) castor oil; I read to dab a cotton ball with castor oil and apply it on the chalazion. I have not tried this yet, but I am tempted.

    As far as the medication I received the following:

    First Urgent care doctor prescribed to me:

    LiquiTears – (eye lubricant) – 2 drops every four hours. Plus warm compresses.

    After a week follow up he them prescribed to me:

    Tobramycin Ophthalmic Solution, USP 0.3%; one to two drops every four hours.

    First Opthamalogist prescribed to me:

    Neomycin and Polymyxin B Sulfates and Dexamethasone Opthalmic Suspension eye drops; 1 drop four times daily. Plus warm compresses.

    Upon my second visit to him a week later he prescribed to me:

    Cephalexin 500 MG capsules; take one capsule by mouth twice a day.

    Plus warm compresses

    My second opthamalogist prescribed:

    Doxycycline Hyclate 100 MG capsules; take one capsule twice a day

    Plus Tobradex eye ointment; apply 4 times daily inside the lower lid

    Plus warm compresses

    Please note: I ended up only taking the Cephalexin because my doctor said the Doxycycline is not needed.

    On my second visit to my second opthalmalogist she suggested I could either opt to wait or for her to go ahead and stab the chalazion. I opted to wait from fear of the horror stories and youtube videos I saw regarding the surgical removal. I ended up going on a work trip for nearly 2 weeks and today I went for my third follow-up. My doctor said it looks a lot better and that I should be patient and wait two more months. Apparently the hard cyst chalazion is now soft and much smaller so she felt it is draining slowly. She said the chalazion is deeper and the procedure is definitely painful since it is so close to my eye. So here I will go again with the warm compresses and the ointment. She said to stop taking any eye drops for the time being.

    To be continued….

  17. Daniel says:

    I am so glad to have found this site. Thanks to everybody for all the information. Here’s my story. I had never had a stye/chalazion up until about 9 months ago. It was late at night and I started to feel itchy on my upper right eyelid. I just ignored it and itched away. 2 hours later I go to the bathroom n I notice that I had a stye. I only knew that because my girlfriend had had them before. I had never before so naturally I was scared. She told me it would go away in a week or 2 but it didn’t. It actually got bigger and formed a white head. I am uninsured so I just went ahead and popped it after dealing with it for about 3 weeks. Of course it formed a scab but it looked like it was going away. About a week later the scab falls off but the now chalazion had stayed in medium form. This is when I began warm compresses and daily cleaning and tea bags and yadayadayada.. The bump went down a lot but it never really went away. About 2 moths go by and it starts to grow again! I continued with the warm compresses, tea bags, cleaning. Nothing helped. It continued to grow and again, formed a white head. This time I go to the clinic. I am referred to an eye specialist. I instead opt for the hospital since I am uninsured. The doctor sticks a needle in the chalazion, applies pressure and drains it of the excess fluid and blood. She then prescribed eye drops. (I could tell she just wanted me out of the hospital.) This time it really seemed to have worked. The swelling went down, the scab fell off and it seemed to have almost completely gone away..almost. 4 months later and although its not a full stye or chalazion, you can definitely still see a bump on my eyelid. It becomes red when it’s hot or when I rub my eye. I think it’s safe to say, I need surgery. I will again try warm compresses and I will also look into MGP as Jelena Ristic suggests. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.

  18. Peter says:

    Neil, I also watched the YouTube video of the make up artist who said salt water is a miracle cure….I’ve been using that method for 2 days now (with sea salt) and it has not gone well, the stubborn chalazion just looks bigger and redder. I guess it depends on the individual and I’m beginning to think that there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ solution when it comes to these things. So, hot compresses with Epsom salt is next for me to try – anything to avoid that surgery again, that was grim.

  19. Ash says:

    Thank you for sharing this important information and experiences which helped me to be positive..!!! i was so………. worried about my swollen eye lids :( i got the 1st one in 2011 and todate they are coming again and again. i did 2 eye surgeries for both the eyes, and now it has come again :’( i’m going to see a doctor next monday. it’s really painful. thank you again for the information.

  20. rose says:

    hey thanks alot for the method i’ll surely try it, i had 2 chalazions removed from the same eye last week so its been 9 days now, healing perfectly still got other chalazions on my other eye, they’ve been there for months do you think this method will work? and can i use this method on the eye that i had a sugery on from now? or do i have to wait untill it heals completely? :) oh and did you use baby shampoo as your gentle soap? thank you :)

    • Maya says:

      Hi! You should probably get approval from your doc, but warm water shouldn’t hurt anything before it’s healed completely! Good luck :)
      Yes, Johnson’s baby shampoo at first, and then later I switched to other facial soaps without colors and perfumes as I started using more natural products overall. Both worked.

  21. LA County says:

    Great Blog! TY!
    I had a really small one for a few weeks on the rim of my top eyelid. After a month it became Hard and had begun to grow. I started doing as much research as possible before running to the Doctor. Through my research I found that home treatment was my best option. I was doing warm compresses daily. The chalazion itself was not subsiding at all after two weeks of my method! After finding this Blog. And utilizing the 1-2-3-4 procedure, baby shampoo+Wascloth+shower Tactics. I have had positive Results with in one week! TY! TY! TY!

  22. Sajid says:

    Hi, I was diagnosed with this last week and I am on doxycycline now. . I do not want to do surgery but if I do does the surgery leave a scar or make ur eyelids look symmetrical?


    • Sajid says:


      • Maya says:

        It probably depends on the location and extent of the surgery. For me, I don’t have any visible scars or asymmetry! I think sometimes it does, and sometimes it doesn’t. Sorry I don’t have a clear answer for you!

        • lainy says:

          Hi Maya, thanks for this post. After you had surgery to remove the chalazion, did it have a visible swelling or did it have redness? – if yes, for how many days after surgery before it looked normal again? thanks

          • Maya says:

            Yes, it was both swollen and red, but I don’t remember how long that took to subside. Is yours doing better now?

  23. Alex says:

    these things suck so bad, im just gunna try to stab it, drain it and wash out with salt water and warm compress-FTW

    • Stella says:

      That won’t work.
      Tried it. Your eye will just get more swollen, red and f***ed up.
      You’ll look like you got punched in your eye.
      The procedures written on this Blog are the only thing that helped me.
      No doctors or medicine would work.
      My only option was surgery or wait it out.
      I’m greatful to the Author of this Blog!

  24. Lyman Wellard says:

    A wet towel, folded and placed inside a plastic bag (a large heavy zip-lock bag works well for this…be sure to leave the bag “unzipped” while heating) heated in the microwave for 2-4 minutes or until hot. Leaving the hot wet towel inside the plastic bag, remove it from the microwave, press all air out of the bag and “zip” or close it up. This heated towel can be applied on a sore area of the body. It works well, is economical and easily available in most homes. Be careful, however, the towel can become very hot using the microwave and you may want to wrap it with another towel or cloth as a buffer before applying it to the skin. ;,..-

    Good day to you

  25. Tony says:

    Hey great blog….i have a one week old chalazion on my upper eye lid…..since it is one week old is it too late to start the hot compresses? How many times a day….is 6 times better than 4 times for 10 minutes or does it matter?

    Should I do anything else? I want to do anything I can to avoid going to the doctor and having surgery….this thing is making my whole face and smile look weird.

    If the hot compresses are working successfully what will I notice? In other words how will i know it is working?…any tell tale signs?


  26. DV8 says:

    Thank you Sooo much for this Blog! It’s Awsome. You’re Amazing.
    The baby shampoo+Wascloth+shower Technics worked really Well!!! I have had positive Results with in the first week! TY! TY! TY!

  27. laurice says:

    thank you for your info. i have 3 lumps on my eyelid and both eyes are now uneven.


  28. Neo says:

    I think what I have is a chalazion. Its been a week since it started on my upper right eyelid. The lump is about the size of a bb and if you lift up the lid and look underneath, there is what looks like a big whitehead. I’ve been doing heat compresses daily and massaging it to get it to maybe drain but its nothing is really happening. I’m very worried that the lump will just remain hard and I’ll have to get it surgically removed ;( This really sucks because I’ve lost a lot of confidence now during a time that I really need to be strong.

  29. Sen says:

    I’ve had chalazion twice in my lifetime. First time I didn’t really know what they were so I had no clue. It stayed for a few months but it wasn’t very visible. It went a way on its on and I didn’t really do a lot of treatments. Now it has returned and I am well prepared. Since I already had them before I know what the after affects are so I rushed to urgent care as soon as I realized that I was getting one. The doctor prescribed me Toberex and antibiotic pills. I used hot compress as well and it went a way within a week. After that I really didn’t treat it with a compress. Wrong decision because as soon as I stopped a week later it came back bigger and my eye swole up. I used hot compress and the ointment and it felt like nothing changed so this time I went to the eye doctor. She suggested that I use a hardboiled egg because the compress may not have been staying warm enough. she also prescribed me antibiotic ointment (different then toberex) to take for two weeks and told me to wash my eye out a few times a day with baby shampoo. So frustrated I decided to also look up home remedies so it was recommended to take Flax Seed Oil to unclog the oil glands. I just started taking them a few days ago along with the hefty regimen and I am seeing this thing go down some. I’m very hopeful that it will if I continue to follow this everyday. This is not easy because it does take a lot of time to do but if you want this thing gone, be patient and stick with these steps. Im hopeful that I will have a good report soon. P.S. You all are beautiful despite the chaliazon.

  30. Dev says:

    If you are considering surgical removal, please note that there is a slightly-less-nuclear option: a steroid injection designed for chalazia. Basically, they inject (in-office) a steroid solution right into the area of the hardened lump. The steroid reduces inflammation in the surrounding gland for “up to six weeks”, allowing your body to dissolve the lump and excrete the oils normally. The success rate is something over 80% (depending on sources), which is nearly as good as that of surgery (up to 90%) with a lot less hassle. However, repeat injections are required in some cases.

    I have used said injection a couple times and it has worked quite well for me on otherwise persistent chalazia, which each cleared up completely over the two weeks following the injection (only one injection per instance in my case). Luckily, my lid specialist recommended it to me when I thought I needed surgery. Before opting for surgery, consider asking a lid specialist or other ophthalmologist about the “steroid injection” option.

    I also use steam and compresses to quicken the drainage once I have received the injection (and for prevention), and they seem to help.

  31. Cally says:

    Hi Maya. So sorry to hear you, too, are up against this nagging problem.

    I have two daughters who have BOTH had surgery (one has had TWO separate surgeries already, poor baby) to remove stubborn chalazia. It, sadly, seems that they are predisposed to these awful blockages.

    I, too, have been blogging on our experiences/struggles/successes in order to find a support network through this battle.

    Anyone with fresh, successful tips, please let us know if you can help us with the fight against chalazia. Thanks everyone.

    Best wishes to you, Maya, and to those of you who know our plight.

    Here’s my original blog post with a link to the follow up at the end. My daughter currently has another chalazion coming, so I’m desperately looking for the best tips I can find.

    Here’s our story-

  32. Mird says:

    I too have developed a chalazion :’( But am freaking out less after reading this. Still called the doc to schedule an appointment anyway (just in case) but I think this might help me out.

    By the way, I noticed you said you were trying to use fewer chemicals in your life. Do you also get skin irritations when you use products with parabens? It seems to be the bane of my skin care regimen :( there’s parabens in almost everything!

  33. Hannah says:

    I’ve had two chalazions for three months. They started when I was pregnant, I suppose since pregnancy lowers your immune system. Then I miscarried, and have been a bit depressed. The doctor said to use hot compresses, but I didn’t notice any improvement, so I finally just started using activated charcoal poultices at night. It’s definitely making them more active! Stuff comes out during the night, but now the left chalazion is driving me crazy. I think maybe it’s getting a pointy but on the inside, so my eye is really painful and keeps watering. I have done this two minutes. I will let you know how it works…

  34. Hannah says:

    Whoops, my phone auto corrected the last bit. I have done this two nights, not minutes.

  35. Tracey says:

    I have been plagued with Chalazions in my left eye for about a year now. It started as one in the lower left eyelid, it grew and became a large bump on the outside of the lid. I have been to the ophthalmologist countless times, been prescribed warm compresses, cream, and eye drops etc etc.
    Last June 2013 I received a steroid shot and although it was painful, the pain was very brief and I saw the large chalazion almost disappear within a couple days. The Chalazion then returned in the same spot about 6 weeks later. Since then I have been battling this for months. I became pregnant in August and the problem seemed to get worse, I got more small chalazion in my lower lid and the large one became a permanent fixture in my life…I almost came to grips with the fact that I would have a deformed lower eyelid forever, constantly being asked by people “what is wrong with your eye?”…not being able to wear makeup feeling self conscious..
    About a month ago I went in for a checkup on my pregnancy, and the doctor asked what is wrong with your eye? I told him the long depressing saga of battling chalazions over the past year. He said I was fine to have the Chalazion excision surgery and it was no harm to my baby.
    SOOOO… I had the surgery four days ago, I ended up having four removed, the large one on the lower lid, two other small ones on the lower lid(not very visible) and a brand new one on the upper lid.
    The surgery was not pleasant, but looking back it was tolerable. I was shocked the next day to see that everything was GONE! I mean the large one was completely gone, the eye looked amazing! It was swollen from surgery but all bumps inside and out were completely gone. I was thrilled!!!! Quite honestly I was mad at myself for waiting for so long to do the surgery. The pain of the surgery was basically the shot at the beginning and then just some uncomfort from them doing the work. It doesn’t hurt while they work on it. In total the whole thing took less than a half hour.
    Needless to say I was on cloud nine yesterday thinking all was well and I was almost back to a completely normal left eye and I woke up this morning with a brand new little white stye/chalazion in between the two I had removed on my lower lid only four days ago!! How depressing!!!!
    Hot compresses begin again, this is certainly a chronic problem we all suffer from and it’s about finding the root of the problem apparently! I don’t know, I am just at whit’s end!!! In 24 hours I have gone from elation that this problem was cured back to the reality that this is a long term battle….
    Thanks for all of your stories…it helps to know we are not alone!!

  36. J says:

    This was my first Chalazion ever and I’ve had it for a little over a month now. I tried hot compresses (twice a day) the third week once I figured out what it was, but to no avail. I finally visited an Optometrist and he prescribed Doxycycline 2x a day for 10 days and said to continue with hot compresses. It’s been 2 days now since finishing the antibiotics and continuing the hot compresses. I also used Johnson’s Baby Shampoo to clean it morning and night. The bump that started at the top my right eyelid looks a bit smaller and seemed to have moved down from the middle of my eyelid to closer to my lash line. I tried applying tea tree oil but didn’t dilute it well enough once and got a chemical burn on my eyelid. I just kept it moisturized with a dab of coconut oil and the scab from that fell off in a couple days. I may try to use a very small bit again just to kill any bacteria. A few days ago, I read that Epsom Salts draw out infection so I bought some and used a 50/50 solution with hot water for my hot compresses. The next morning when I woke up, there was a bunch of yellow gunk stuck to my eyelid which I washed away with baby shampoo. I continued to do the Epsom Salt compresses, at least 3x a day. This is when I actually saw the Chalazion begin to slowly drain from the outside..sorry it’s gross, I began to see a little puss (a white to yellowish color) and a bit of blood on the towel after doing the hot compresses with the Epsom Salt. It wasn’t a burst, just a little bit at a time comes out with each compress. I clean it with baby shampoo immediately after and used the 4-finger massage technique (10 seconds each finger) with the shampoo still on my eyelid, then rinse with hot water. The bump is still there but I am going to continue doing this in hopes that it will completely drain and also call the Optometrist tomorrow to ask what he advised and to see if I can get a refill of Doxycycline. I’ve read that drinking green tea also helps which I have just started doing a few days ago, not sure if it’s helping but it can’t hurt. Hope this info helps someone else.

  37. Dev says:

    I currently have a small chalazion that was much larger prior to a steroid injection. The injection caused it to drain and shrink for about 3 weeks before it stabilized at the smaller size (probably I didn’t do enough steam/compress after the injection). Steam and compresses helped very little after that.

    About six weeks post injection, I slept two nights on my sister’s couch. My sister doesn’t have very good light control in her living room (I need it rather dark to sleep), so I spent much of each night with my head under the covers. It got pretty humid under there, and both mornings I noticed significant drainage and shrinkage of the chalazion. This may imply that a longer treatment of warmth and moderate humidity may work better than 10 minutes of steam or hot compresses, at least for me. Perhaps some goggles or a humidifier near the face for long periods would help replicate this experience.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>