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Eye Health Center

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It is possible that the main title of the report Chalazion is not the name you expected. Please check the synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and disorder subdivision(s) covered by this report.


  • Meibomian Cyst
  • Tarsal Cyst

Disorder Subdivisions

  • None

General Discussion

Chalazion is a round, slowly emerging, localized swelling, in the form of a cyst located on the lower or upper eyelid. (Chalazion is the Greek word for "hailstone" which represents the size of the lump that makes up the cyst.) The usually painless, grainy (granulomatous) mass is due to inflammation, obstruction, and retained secretions of one of the glands that lubricates the edge of the eyelids. These glands secrete sebum, an oily, protective fluid. If one or more of the ducts that drain these glands is blocked, the sebum accumulates under the skin to form a cyst.

In rare cases, if the cyst is large, blurred vision may result due to pressure on the cornea, the front, clear portion of the eye through which light passes. In some affected individuals, chalazia may disappear spontaneously. However, in other cases, treatment may be required. Individuals with chronic inflammation of the eyelids (blepharitis) may be prone to recurrences.


Schepens Eye Research Institute
20 Staniford Street
Boston, MA 02114-2500
Tel: (617)912-0100
Fax: (617)912-0101

NIH/National Eye Institute
31 Center Dr
MSC 2510
Bethesda, MD 20892-2510
United States
Tel: (301)496-5248
Fax: (301)402-1065

Genetic and Rare Diseases (GARD) Information Center
PO Box 8126
Gaithersburg, MD 20898-8126
Tel: (301)251-4925
Fax: (301)251-4911
Tel: (888)205-2311
TDD: (888)205-3223

For a Complete Report:

This is an abstract of a report from the National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). A copy of the complete report can be downloaded free from the NORD website for registered users. The complete report contains additional information including symptoms, causes, affected population, related disorders, standard and investigational therapies (if available), and references from medical literature. For a full-text version of this topic, go to and click on Rare Disease Database under "Rare Disease Information".

The information provided in this report is not intended for diagnostic purposes. It is provided for informational purposes only. NORD recommends that affected individuals seek the advice or counsel of their own personal physicians.

It is possible that the title of this topic is not the name you selected. Please check the Synonyms listing to find the alternate name(s) and Disorder Subdivision(s) covered by this report

This disease entry is based upon medical information available through the date at the end of the topic. Since NORD's resources are limited, it is not possible to keep every entry in the Rare Disease Database completely current and accurate. Please check with the agencies listed in the Resources section for the most current information about this disorder.

For additional information and assistance about rare disorders, please contact the National Organization for Rare Disorders at P.O. Box 1968, Danbury, CT 06813-1968; phone (203) 744-0100; web site or email

Last Updated: 4/25/2008
Copyright 1989, 1997, 2005 National Organization for Rare Disorders, Inc.

WebMD Medical Reference from the National Organization for Rare Disorders

Last Updated: May 28, 2015
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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