To evaluate whether use of an antibiotic improves the efficacy of care for a chalazion or hordeolum.
A cross-sectional retrospective review was performed. All patients treated for a newly diagnosed chalazion or hordeolum at the University of California, San Francisco from 2012 to 2018 were identified. Patients were excluded when clinical notes were inaccessible or there was inadequate documentation of treatment modality or outcome. Patient demographics, setting of initial presentation, treatment modalities, antibiotic use, and outcomes were analyzed.
A total of 2,712 patients met inclusion criteria. Management with an antibiotic was observed in 36.5% of patients. An antibiotic was 1.53 times (95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-2.22, P=0.025) more likely to be prescribed in emergency or acute care setting for a chalazion. Older age was associated with a higher risk of receiving an antibiotic for a hordeolum (adjusted RR 1.07 per decade, 95% CI, 1.05-1.11, P<0.001). The addition of an antibiotic to conservative measures for a chalazion (adjusted RR, 0.97, 95% CI, 0.89-1.04, P=0.393) or hordeolum (adjusted RR, 0.99, 95% CI, 0.96-1.02, P=0.489) was not associated with an increased likelihood of treatment success.
Although frequently prescribed, an antibiotic is unlikely to improve the resolution of a chalazion or hordeolum.

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