What should you do if you have a swollen eyelid?

Wed May 12 2021

Swollen eyelid is caused by an accumulation of fluid or inflammation in the delicate tissues around the eye. It is common for both eyelids to be swollen at the same time.

A swollen eyelid will last for a brief period and then disappear. However, in some cases, it progresses over time and occurs in conjunction with other symptoms. In such cases, it may be a sign of a more severe disorder affecting the whole body, such as hyperthyroidism (Graves' disease) or infection.

Note: Seek medical help immediately if you have a swollen eyelid followed by fever, vision issues (such as blurry vision), irregular eye movements (or lack of movement), protrusion (bulging) of the eye, or symptoms of anaphylactic shock (swollen tongue and throat, hives, and trouble breathing).

What are the different swollen eyelid causes?

A swollen eyelid can be caused by relatively benign conditions such as a blocked oil gland or an insect bite. It can also be caused by severe or life-threatening conditions such as anaphylactic shock. Here are some of the swollen eyelid causes that you should know about:

  • Seasonal allergies: Hay fever, as well as allergic reactions to food, medications, and bee stings, may cause swelling of both eyelids. If one of your eyes is swollen, red, and itchy, it is most likely due to an allergic reaction to something in your eye, such as animal dander or dust.
  • Chalazions: A chalazion is an obstructed gland that may grow along the inside rim of the upper or lower eyelid. Rosacea patients are more likely to develop chalazions. The swelling is normally localised, but it can affect the entire eyelid, obstructing your vision. Typically, the swelling is not painful.
  • Hordeolum: This is the medical term for stye, which is swelling caused by inflammation or a Staphylococcal infection of an eyelash follicle. A stye bursts within a few days, releasing pus and reducing swelling.
  • Blepharitis: This is a type of inflammation that includes eye redness, burning, itching, and swelling of the eyelids. It can affect one or both eyes.
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye): This is caused by a bacterial or viral infection of the conjunctiva, which is the delicate tissue that lines the eyelids and covers the white portion of your eye. Swelling, redness and itchiness in the eyes, tears, and discharge are some common symptoms. It can affect one or both eyes. Allergies may also cause conjunctivitis. Infectious conjunctivitis is very contagious and requires skilled medical attention.
  • Non-ocular conditions: A swollen eyelid may result from skull fracture, burns, direct hits, foreign objects in the eye, and surgery. Eyelid swelling after trauma requires immediate attention.

Swollen eyelid treatment: What’s the recommended course?

Here are some home remedies for a swollen eyelid that you can try:

  • Wash and clean the skin around your eyelids (baby shampoo mixed with water works well, or you can buy eyelid scrub pads); pat dry gently.
  • Rinse your eyes with clean saline or artificial tears.
  • Use cool compresses, such as cold (caffeinated) tea bags. Caffeine restricts the tiny blood vessels in the eyes and eyelids, resulting in less fluid leakage and puffy eyelids (edema).
  • Rest and sleep with your head high. This will aid in the drainage of fluids from the eyelids and surrounding tissues.
  • Wearing contact lenses is not advised until the swelling of the eyelids has subsided.
  • For styes and chalazia, apply hot compresses for 5 to 10 minutes several times a day, in addition to any antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications prescribed by your doctor.

Why Visit Centre for Sight?

A swollen eyelid can cause you a lot of pain and discomfort. Ideally, it should disappear within some time, but it is advised to consult a doctor if it stays for more than a week. At Centre for Sight, our expert doctors have years of experience and can ascertain whether your swollen eyelid is caused due to benign issues or any underlying conditions. Remember, a quick diagnosis is often the best course in treating any condition effectively! So, if you are suffering from a swollen eyelid and do not feel that the swelling is reducing, get in touch with us today.



Article: What should you do if you have a swollen eyelid?

Author: CFS Editorial Team  |  May 12 2021 | UPDATED 02:00 IST

*The views expressed here are solely those of the author in his private capacity and do not in any way represent the views of Centre for Sight.

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