Skip to main content

Hordeolum and Chalazion, Emergency Medicine

Reviewed 06/2017



  • Result from inflammatory processes involving the glands of the eyelid along the lash line:

    • Hordeolum—acute glandular obstruction resulting in inflammation and abscess formation

    • Chalazi...


Signs and Symptoms

  • Hordeolum:

    • Develops acutely when glandular outflow is obstructed

    • Red, tender, painful, swollen mass along the eyelid margin

    • Typically solitary, rarely may be multiple

    • May be re...


Ed Treatment/Procedures

  • Hordeolum—relieve obstruction and prevent abscess formation

    • Warm compresses for 15 min 4–6 times per day

    • Gently massage the nodule to express obstructed material

    • Rarely, ...



Discharge Criteria

No indication for admission unless secondary complication is present (i.e., marked periorbital cellulitis with systemic symptoms) 

Issues for Referral

  • Urgent consu...

Pearls and Pitfalls

  • Conservative treatment of hordeola with warm compresses and gentle massage is the standard:

    • Majority of cases respond without further intervention

    • Emergent incision and drainage is r...

Additional Reading

  • Cronau, Kankanala  RR, Mauger  T. Diagnosis and management of red eye in primary care. Am Fam Physician.  2010;81(2):137–144.

  • Goawalla  A, Lee  V. A prospective randomized treat...



  • 373.2 Chalazion

  • 373.11 Hordeolum externum

  • 373.12 Hordeolum internum


  • H00.019 Hordeolum externum unspecified eye, unspecified eyelid

  • H00.19 Chalazion unspecified eye, unspecified eyelid

  • H00.02...

Subscribe to Access Full Content

Sign Up for a 10-Day Free Trial

Sign up for a 10-day FREE Trial now and receive full access to all content.