Swollen Eyes

Swollen Eyes Early Symptoms & Signs

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Symptoms & Signs

Swelling of the eye, also referred to as periorbital puffiness, refers to the presence of excess fluid (edema) in the connective tissues around the eye, most commonly the eyelids. A swollen eye can result from trauma, infections, or other injuries to the eye area. Prolonged crying is a common cause of swollen eyes. Virtually any cause of inflammation to the eye area may manifest as eyelid swelling, although allergic reactions are likely the most common cause. With allergic reactions, the eyes may also be red and itchy as well as swollen. Rarely, systemic conditions (affecting the entire body) may result in fluid retention, including fluid retention in the tissues around the eyes.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/5/2015

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Longo, D.L., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 18th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2011.

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Causes of Swollen Eyes
    • Allergy (Allergies) An allergy refers to a misguided reaction by our immune system in response to bodily contact with certain foreign substances. ...learn more »
    • Blepharitis Blepharitis is inflammation of the eyelids. Acne rosacea, Staphylococcal bacteria, allergies, sensitivities to makeup or contact...learn more »
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      Blepharitis Article
      • Blepharitis facts
      • What is blepharitis?
      • What causes blepharitis?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of blepharitis?
      • How is blepharitis diagnosed?
      • What are complications of blepharitis?
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      • What is the prognosis for blepharitis?
    • Bug Bites and Stings Bug bites and stings have been known to transmit insect-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus, Rocky Mountain spotted fever,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Bug Bites and Stings Article
      • Bug bites and stings facts*
      • Bug bites and stings introduction
      • What can I do to keep insects away?
      • What's the proper way to use insect repellent?
      • What's the best way to remove a bee stinger?
      • What should I do if I find a tick on me or my child?
      • What can be done for itching and pain from bites and stings?
      • When is medical attention needed?
      • Where can I find more information on bug bites and stings?
    • Burns (First Aid) Burns are categorized by severity as first, second, or third degree. First degree burns are similar to a painful sunburn. The...learn more »
      In This Article
      Burns (First Aid) Article
      • Introduction to burns
      • How are burns classified?
      • What is the significance of the amount of body area burned?
      • How important is the location of a burn?
      • What about electrical burns?
      • What about chemical burns?
      • First aid for burns
    • Cellulitis Cellulitis is an acute spreading bacterial infection below the surface of the skin characterized by redness, warmth,...learn more »
    • Corneal Ulcer A corneal ulcer is an open sore on the cornea. Infection is a common cause of corneal ulcer. Symptoms and signs of corneal ulcer...learn more »
      In This Article
      Corneal Ulcer Article
      • Corneal ulcer facts
      • What is a corneal ulcer?
      • What does a corneal ulcer look like?
      • What are the causes of a corneal ulcer?
      • What are corneal ulcer symptoms?
      • What are corneal ulcer signs?
      • How is a corneal ulcer diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a corneal ulcer?
      • What is the healing time for a corneal ulcer?
      • Can corneal ulcers be prevented?
    • Edema Edema is the swelling of tissues as a result of excess water accumulation. Peripheral edema occurs in the feet and legs. There...learn more »
      In This Article
      Edema Article
      • Edema facts
      • What is edema?
      • What is pitting edema and how does it differ from non-pitting edema?
      • What does pitting edema look like (picture)?
      • What causes pitting edema?
      • Does salt intake affect edema?
      • What causes edema during pregnancy?
      • What kind of doctors treat edema?
      • Why does a person with heart disease retain fluid?
      • Why do people with liver disease develop ascites and edema?
      • Why do people with kidney disease have pitting edema?
      • What causes pitting edema by heavy loss of protein in the urine?
      • What medications treat pitting edema caused by heavy loss of protein in the urine?
      • What causes pitting edema in people with impaired kidney (renal) function?
      • What is idiopathic edema?
      • What is the treatment for idiopathic edema?
      • What is the treatment for patients with idiopathic edema who have become dependant on diuretics?
      • How does venous insufficiency cause edema?
      • Which diuretics are used to treat edema?
      • Do people taking diuretics need a diet high in potassium?
      • Are diuretics used for other diseases or conditions?
    • Hyperthyroidism Hyperthyroidism is an excess of thyroid hormone resulting from an overactive thyroid gland. Symptoms can include increased heart...learn more »
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      Hyperthyroidism Article
      • Hyperthyroidism facts
      • What is hyperthyroidism?
      • What are thyroid hormones?
      • Thyroid hormone regulation--the chain of command
      • What causes hyperthyroidism?
      • What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?
      • How is hyperthyroidism diagnosed?
      • How is hyperthyroidism treated?
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    • Is a Sty Contagious? A sty is an infected eyelash hair follicle or meibomian gland. Staph causes most styes. Styes can be treated at home with warm...learn more »
      In This Article
      Is a Sty Contagious? Article
      • What is a sty?
      • Is a sty contagious?
      • How will I know if I have a sty?
      • How is a sty spread?
      • When will I know I am cured of a sty?
      • When should I contact a health-care professional about a sty?
    • Is Pinkeye Contagious? Pinkeye (conjunctivitis) is inflammation of the conjunctiva. Whether pinkeye is contagious depends upon what is causing the...learn more »
      In This Article
      Is Pinkeye Contagious? Article
      • What is pinkeye?
      • Is pinkeye contagious? What is the incubation period for pinkeye?
      • How will I know when I have pinkeye?
      • How do people transmit pinkeye?
      • How long does pinkeye last? What is the contagious period for pinkeye?
      • When should I contact a health-care provider about pinkeye?
    • Pinkeye Pinkeye, also called conjunctivitis, is redness or irritation of the conjunctivae, the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids...learn more »
    • Sty A sty is a bump that forms on the eyelid as a result of a blocked gland. Styes may be caused by infections, burns, or trauma to...learn more »
Other Causes of Swollen Eyes
  • Angioedema
  • Bacterial Infection
  • Foreign Body in the Eye
  • Medications
  • Nephrotic Syndrome
  • Prolonged Crying
  • Trauma
  • Tumors
  • Viral Infection
Examples of Medications for Swollen Eyes

Symptoms & Signs A-Z List