A chalazion is a bump on the eyelid caused by inflammation of the oil glands. It often starts out as a stye, but unlike a stye, it is not usually painful. The bump may get better on its own or need medical treatment. Without treatment, the bump may remain for months or years.


  • Swollen bump on the upper or lower eyelid that may be red

  • Usually painless and firm to the touch

  • May form a head like a pimple and drain pus 

An ophthalmologist (eye doctor) can diagnose a chalazion using a biological microscope.

Treatment and Prevention

The first step in treatment is to apply heat to the eyelid using a warm washcloth. Heat should be applied for at least five minutes and repeated once or twice each day until the inflammation goes away. If you get a chalazion more than once, it may help to apply heat to the area each day using a warm washcloth. See an ophthalmologist If the chalazion does not go away after a few weeks, the area becomes painful or the entire eyelid or eye area becomes red. You may contact the Comprehensive Ophthalmology clinic at 503 494-4029.