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How do chalazia form?

Chalazia formation arises when the meibomian glands become blocked. This is particularly in patients where their meibomian oil, called meibum, is thicker and the eyelids are inflamed. This is associated with meibomian gland dysfunction also known as MGD, which used to be called posterior blepharitis. Chalazia are also associated with chronic staphylococcal lid margin disease (anterior blepharitis).
The development of chalazia depends on two factors:

  • The combination of having an inflamed lid margin from a very low-grade infection
  • having thick oil predisposes to the development of chalazia.

A chalazia formation is essentially an inflammatory reaction to the entrapped oil. The body’s cellular defences go in and try and remove the entrapped oil. Then the body’s giant cells become engorged with the oil and then form a jelly-like inflammatory response, seen as the eyelid lump. The amount of redness associated with the chalazion can be variable, depending on surrounding inflammatory response.
If you have questions about chalazia or need to have a chalazion removed, please do not hesitate to contact us!


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