Swollen eyelids can be pretty unsightly, as well as extremely inconvenient, and oftentimes, they come on without any warning whatsoever. There is a huge range of potential causes when it comes to swollen eyelids. Here we have compiled a useful list of some of the most common swollen eyelid causes, how to prevent them, and how to treat them.
A stye can often look like a pimple or a whitehead, at the base of an eyelash (an external stye) or in the oil glands (internal). It causes the area to become red and swollen and can often be painful, or have an uncomfortable gritty feeling. It is caused by clogged ducts that become swollen and inflamed and are more common in people with diabetes, rosacea, or dermatitis, and contact lens wearers.
A chalazion is a lump in the eyelid (usually localized but if it becomes infected you might see the entire eyelid swell) that is caused when one of the Meibomian glands becomes blocked and forms a cyst. It is different from a stye in that it isn’t red, itchy, or painful, and is more common on the top eyelid.
Conjunctivitis (often called pink eye) is an inflammation caused by allergies, sensitivities, or infection that affects the conjunctiva – the membrane that covers the white of your eye and the underside of your eyelids. Alongside the slight soreness, grittiness, and redness, you can also often see swelling in the eyelids.
A bug bite
Bugs will bite anywhere, and if they happen to bite around the eye area, it will become quite swollen and may be a little itchy and sore.
This is the most serious condition on the list and should be treated as a medical emergency. Swollen eyelids can often be an easy warning sign for anaphylactic shock, a serious allergy that also causes breathing issues, faintness, and collapsing. If you or the person with swollen eyelids has any known allergies, it is imperative that you contact emergency services, or administer their epi-pen if they have one.
Aside from anaphylaxis, the other issues in their article often go away on their own. You can help things along by carefully using a warm compress on the eye a few times a day for 5-10 minutes to ease the swelling, as well as any itchiness and soreness. Avoid wearing makeup, or any products in the eye area for a few days, and don’t use contact lenses. You may want to use eye drops if you are experiencing dry eyes caused by basic allergies from pets for example, and pain relief if the condition is causing discomfort.
If the swelling doesn’t go down within a week or so, or becomes too painful to bear, or affects your vision, don’t hesitate to book in to see your eye doctor. When it comes to your sight it’s better to be safe than sorry and you may need some antibiotics or a topical cream to help the infection.