Eyelid Swelling: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Eyelid Swelling: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

One of the most common eye conditions that many people encounter is the swelling of the eyelids. As the term implies, it is the expansion of either of the eye’s lower and upper lids.

Swelling of the eyelids results from an excessive accumulation of fluid near your eyes. 

The most common cause of this fluid accumulation is an allergy and the resulting reaction when contact with the allergen in question. An infection or an accident can also cause swelling, in addition to fluid accumulation.

Depending on the cause of swelling, the eyelids may swell for a short or long time. An allergy-induced eyelid swelling often does not take much time to heal, but one caused by an infection may take some time to vanish.

What are the Symptoms of Eyelid Swelling?

Common symptoms of eyelid swelling include:

  • Overly moist or dry eyes
  • Eye discharge, irritation, and pain
  • Heightened sensitivity to light
  • Hazy vision
  • Hanging eyelid
  • Serious headache
  • Loss of vision because of inability to open or close eyes
  • Severe fever
  • Tight or itchy throat
  • Dizziness and nausea
  • Acute pain

If you experience any of the following symptoms, please seek immediate medical attention.

What are the Causes of Eyelid Swelling?

The most common cause of swelling in the eyelids is allergies, but other causes include excessive crying or rubbing the eyes.

More common causes include:

Innocuous Causes

1. Crying

Eyelid swelling can result from excessive, forcible, and prolonged crying. 

As a result, the veins in the eyelids may burst and increase the flow of blood, which then floods and causes fluid to build up in the eyes. Calm and rest would suffice as a remedy.

2. Fatigue

Fatigue, especially as a result of a lack of sleep, can make your eyes swollen. Even though this can take a couple up with an accumulation of water in your eyes overnight, adequate rest and proper hydration would be enough to make it go away.

3. The Use of Cosmetics

When you use makeup and forget to take it off, or you’re not careful enough to prevent it from coming in contact with your eyes, it causes a sensitivity in your eye tissues that leaves you with inflamed eyelids. 

Infectious Causes

1. Orbital Cellulitis

This infection affects the inner parts of the eyelid tissue, and because of its severity, treatment with antibiotics may be necessary. When cellulitis occurs, it spans the perimeter of the eyelid fast and is usually very painful. 

The bacteria causing this infection can make their way into the eyes through even a minor cut.

2. Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye

This infection affects the thin membrane―called the conjunctiva―lining the eyelids and the inner surface of the eyeball. It can be a viral or bacterial infection—symptoms minor of conjunctivitis range from teary eyes to red and itchy eyes.

3. Ocular Herpes

Despite the similarity of their appearances, herpes and conjunctivitis have very different symptoms, and the swelling from herpes is often less severe than that of conjunctivitis. 

It is a viral infection that affects the surrounding tissues of the eyes, and it also makes the eyelid red and painful.

4. Chalazion

When an oil gland in the eyelids becomes blocked, it results in the occurrence of a chalazion. 

A chalazion is usually not painful and can be managed by applying a warm cloth to it several times throughout the day to help unclog the blocked gland. 

It might take weeks for it to vanish. In case the swelling spreads so much that it begins to impede vision, you should seek medical attention.

5. Stye

A stye, medically referred to as hordeolum, is an infection that affects the glands in an eyelid especially the tear glands. 

The swelling is often bloodshot and itchy and can develop within a few hours or a few days. If a style proliferates, results in a high body temperature, or begins to hurt a lot, an antibiotic prescription should help.

How Do You Treat Swollen Eyelids?

You can get fast relief from a swollen eyelid by pressing it down gently, mostly with ice or cold tea bags, to reduce the swelling. 

Staying off makeup & contact lens, staying indoors to avoid light, cleansing the eye with saltwater, and getting enough sleep are also good home remedies for a mild case of eyelid swelling. 

However, it is essential to note that the treatment of swollen eyelids is dependent on the cause of the condition. 

If it’s an infection or a trauma-induced swelling, it is best and crucial to seek appropriate medical attention.