What causes a swollen eyelid?
You get a swollen eyelid when the area around your eyes gets filled with fluid. The condition is also commonly called “puffy eyes.”
Your eyelids might swell due to local infection, trauma, or any other illness, where fluid builds up in the entire body. Depending on the cause, one or both eyelids may become swollen.
Why is my upper eyelid swollen?
Your eyelids can become swollen due to many reasons, such as the following:
- Stye or chalazion: Stye and chalazion are small bumps on anyone or both of your upper or lower eyelids that are caused by infection of the oil glands of your eye. A stye looks like a boil or a pimple. Although a stye is formed on the external surface of your eyelid, a chalazion is located inside the eyelid.
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye): Your eyes may be swollen due to an infectious eye disease known as conjunctivitis where your eyes become red and watery.
- Dacryocystitis: Blockage of the tear glands draining into the nose can make your eyelids swell and result in the watering of eyes.
- Cosmetic use: Not removing eye makeup at night can irritate the delicate area around the eye and cause swollen eyelids.
- Allergy: Allergy to insect bites (bees, bugs), dust, certain eyeliners or mascaras, and reaction to certain medicines can cause your eyelids to swell.
- Sinusitis: Recurrent inflammation of the nose that may be associated with swelling of the eyelids.
- Lack of sleep: Not sleeping well the previous night can make your eyes look puffy the next morning.
- Trauma: A heavy blow to the eye can rupture the small blood vessels under your eyelid and make your eyelids swollen.
- Corneal ulcer: A corneal ulcer (also known as keratitis) is an open sore on the clear outer layer of the front of your eye (cornea).
- Orbital and periorbital cellulitis: An infection of the deeper tissues of the eyes that spreads to the skin around your eyes.
- Ocular herpes simplex: A viral infection that causes your eyes to become red, swollen, and painful.
- Thyroid problem: An aggravated form of hyperthyroidism known as Grave’s disease can lead to an eye condition known as Graves’ ophthalmopathy, which is characterized by protruding eyeballs and puffy eyes.
- Blepharitis: Blepharitis is an inflammatory eyelid disease that causes the eyelids to become red, swollen, and itchy. Dandruff-like scales form on the eyelashes.
- Kidney problem: The inability of the kidneys to retain proteins in the body causes fluid build-up in the body leading to swelling all over the body, including the face and eyelids.
- Serious liver or heart problem: If there is a serious problem in your liver or heart, it leads to water retention in the body and causes puffy eyes.
How do you treat a swollen eyelid?
Treatment of the swollen eyelids will depend on the cause. Until you can see your doctor, you can try resolving the swelling of your eyelids at home by
- Applying a compress: Put a clean, wet cloth on your eyes twice a day for 15 minutes. Use a warm (hot) compress if the problem is due to a stye.
- Cleaning the eyes: Clean your eyes with sterile water or saline solution if there is a discharge from the eyes.
- Avoiding contact lenses: Avoid wearing contact lenses, which might irritate the eyelids further.
- Avoiding eye makeup: Avoid applying eyeliner or mascara until the eyelid swelling goes away.
- Use of over-the-counter eye drops: Over-the-counter eye drops contain antihistamines that help in treating eye allergies and relieve the redness and itching.
- Getting adequate sleep: Get adequate sleep to give rest to your eyes if you feel that the cause of the swollen eyelids is exhaustion and lack of sleep.
When should you see a doctor for swollen eyelid?
A simple eyelid swelling usually resolves within 24 hours. If it does not go away with simple home remedies as described above, you should see a doctor. You should also visit a doctor if:
- You have painful eyes
- You cannot bear to look at a bright light
- The eyelid swelling is blocking your vision
- Your eyelids are drooping
- You have blurred vision
- You suffer from
Your doctor will examine your eyes and take your complete history. He will prescribe you antibiotics in the form of eye drops or oral pills if he/she suspects infection.
Depending on the cause, your doctor might even advise you on some medical procedure or eye surgery, e.g., Dacryocystorhinostomy for dacryocystitis.
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Periorbital Infections. Available at: https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/798397-overview
Swollen eyelids. Available at: https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/eyelid-inflammation-blepharitis
Swelling Around Eye. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/symptoms/swelling-around-eye
Top How Do You Treat a Swollen Eyelid Related Articles
Black EyeThe most common cause of a black eye is a trauma injury to the face or head. Most black eyes are minor and heal on their own; however, some may lead to significant injury. In addition to trauma to the face, cosmetic surgery can cause a black eye(s) as a side effect. Learn when to seek immediate medical care for a black eye.
Blepharoplasty (Eyelid Surgery)Eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, is a cosmetic procedure in which drooping of the lower and/or upper eyelids is reduced by removing excess skin, muscle, and fat. Complications of the procedure include bleeding, infection, dry eyes, an inability to fully close the eyes, eyelid skin that folds in or out abnormally, abnormal skin discoloration of the eyelids, and a pulled-down lower lid lash line or a possible loss of vision.
Eye AllergyEye allergy (or allergic eye disease) are typically associated with hay fever and atopic dermatitis. Medications and cosmetics may cause eye allergies. Allergic eye conditions include allergic conjunctivitis, conjunctivitis with atopic dermatitis, vernal keratoconjunctivitis, and giant papillary conjunctivitis. Dry eye, tear-duct obstruction, and conjunctivitis due to infection are frequently confused with eye allergies. Eye allergies may be treated with topical antihistamines, decongestants, topical mast-cell stabilizers, topical anti-inflammatory drugs, systemic medications, and allergy shots.
Eye Anatomy Detail PictureThe eye has a number of components which include but are not limited to the cornea, iris, pupil, lens, retina, macula, optic nerve, choroid and vitreous. See a picture of Eye Anatomy Detail and learn more about the health topic.
Common Eye ProblemsEye diseases can cause damage and blindness if not treated soon enough. Learn the warning signs and symptoms of common eye conditions such as glaucoma, cataracts, pink eye, macular degeneration and more.
Eye Health FoodsEye health is boosted by lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, beta-carotene, vitamin E, vitamin A, and other nutrients. Special formulas of eye vitamins are available to boost eye health and decrease the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye conditions. Eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to protect your eye health.
Eye StrainEye strain is a symptom caused by looking at something for a long time. Symptoms and signs include redness, light sensitivity, headaches, and blurred vision. Symptoms may be treated by closing the eyes and taking a break from the visual task.
Eye Conditions QuizWhat do you know about your eyes? Take this quick quiz to learn about a range of eye diseases and conditions.
How Much Does Double Eyelid Surgery Cost?Double eyelid surgery in the U.S. costs a little over $3,000, according to the latest averages, not including hospital expenses. Double eyelid surgery (Asian blepharoplasty) is a cosmetic surgery for the eyes in which a crease or fold is made in the upper eyelid. Some Asian people who lack a crease in their upper eyelids may seek this surgery because they believe it improves their appearance.
How Much Does Upper Eyelid Surgery Cost?Blepharoplasty is cosmetic surgery of the eyelid in which excessive eyelid skin is removed with or without the removal or addition of eyelid fat. Blepharoplasty typically costs a little over $3,000 for the surgery alone, not counting anesthesia and related hospital expenses, according to the latest data.
Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis): Types, Treatment, and SymptomsPinkeye, also called conjunctivitis, is redness or irritation of the conjunctivae, the membranes on the inner part of the eyelids and the membranes covering the whites of the eyes. These membranes react to a wide range of bacteria, viruses, allergy-provoking agents, irritants, and toxic agents.
Pink Eye SlideshowHow do you get pink eye? And how contagious is pinkeye? If you woke up with crusty eyelids and red, swollen eyes, you may have conjunctivitis. Learn about eye drops and home remedies for pink eye.
What Are Some Common Eye Infections?An eye infection is a condition in which viruses, bacteria or other microbial agents may attack the eye. This can cause itching around the eyes or the eyes may turn pink. The infection can affect the eyelid, cornea or conjuctiva (inside lining of the eyelid).
How Eye Color and Shape Can Affect Your HealthEye color is linked to eye cancer, trustworthiness, type 1 diabetes, hearing loss, alcohol dependence, endometriosis, response to therapy, vitiligo, cataracts, intelligence, athletic ability, pain tolerance, macular degeneration, and risk of Waardenburg syndrome.
What Is the Fastest Way to Get Rid of a Chalazion?Stye is painful inflammation and swelling on the eyelid with the accumulation of pus. It is an infection commonly caused by the bacterium, Staphylococcus. It is usually not possible to get rid of a chalazion completely overnight or “fast” because there are no shortcuts to the treatment. You can use warm compresses, gentle cleansers and painkillers to treat a chalazion or see your doctor for medical intervention or surgery.
Why Are My Eyes Twitching?Eye twitching, or blepharospasm, is a condition in which you cannot keep your eyes open for a long time due to spasms. The main causes of eye twitch include fatigue, stress, smoking, caffeine, medication side effects, light sensitivity, lack of sleep, foreign particles in the eye, and corneal irritation.