Last updated on April 23rd, 2017 at 07:41 am
A swollen eyelid occurs when there is inflammation or excess fluid (edema) in the connective tissues surrounding the eye. Swollen eyes can be painful and non-painful, and affect both the upper and lower eyelids.
There are numerous causes of a swollen eye, consisting of eye infections, eye injuries or trauma, and, most frequently, allergic reactions.
Swelling of the eyelids can be a sign of a more major, possibly sight-threatening illness, such as orbital cellulitis, Graves’ disease and ocular herpes.
It is essential that you visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye examination if your symptoms continue, worsen or alter.
Swollen eyelids can be chronic or short-term depending upon the mildness or seriousness of the condition. In case the condition appears in a steady or abrupt method, it must never be disregarded in either case. This is because swollen eyelids can also signify a medical condition.
Symptoms Of Swollen Eyes
Swelling of the eyelids is a symptom of an underlying cause, such as allergic reaction or infection. Swollen eyes normally are accompanied by several of the following:
- Eye inflammation, such as an itchy or scratchy sensation
- Excess tear production, leading to watering eyes
- Obstructed vision (depending on the degree of the swelling)
- Redness of the eyelid
- Red eyes and inflammation of the conjunctiva
- Eye discharge, or “mattering”
- Eyelid dryness or flaking
- Pain, especially when swollen eyelids are triggered by infection
Puffy vs. Swollen Eyes?
The term “puffy eyes” frequently is interchangeable with “swollen eyes.” Swollen eyes is generally used to describe an immune reaction to allergy, infection or injury, whereas “puffy eyes” is most likely used to refer to the external physical attribute of swollen eyes from water retention, absence of sleep or genetic traits like dark circles under the eyes.
Causes Of Swollen Eyes
There are numerous causes of swollen eyelids– varying from moderate to possibly sight-threatening conditions.
Allergies. Eye allergic reactions happen when your body immune system overreacts to a foreign substance, called an allergen. Pollen, dust, animal dander, particular eye drops and contact lens solutions are a few of the most typical eye irritants. An allergic reaction to makeup also is a recognized offender of swollen eyes.
Eye allergic reactions establish when your eyes launch chemical “mediators” to protect your eyes from irritants to which you are delicate.
The most common is histamine, which causes capillary in your eyes to dilate and swell, mucous membranes to itch and your eye to end up being red and watery.
Conjunctivitis. Also called “pink eye,” conjunctivitis is swelling of the clear lining of the surface area of the eye, called the conjunctiva. Allergic, bacterial and viral types of pink eye can all result in swollen eyelids, to name a few symptoms such as watery, red and itchy eyes.
Styes. Generally looking like a swollen, reddish bump on the edge of an eyelid, styes are caused by bacterial infection and swelling of a meibomian gland. When these oil-producing glands get blocked, eyelid swelling is a common symptom. A stye can cause the whole eyelid to swell, and typically is tender to the touch.
Chalazion. A chalazion, likewise caused by an obstructed meibomian gland, at first mimics a stye but then develops into a tough sebaceous cyst. Another distinction is that a stye takes place on the edge of an eyelid whereas a chalazion usually establishes far from the eyelid edge. Both styes and chalazia cause swollen eyelids and inflammation of the afflicted area.
Eye injuries. Any trauma to the eye area, consisting of an eyelid contusion (commonly referred to as a black eye) and injury caused by cosmetic surgery (blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery), can set off inflammation and swollen eyes.
Contact lens wear. Improper look after contact lenses– such as wearing filthy lenses, swimming in contact lenses or storing contacts in a filthy lens case– can cause an eye infection and swollen eyelids. Utilizing broken contacts likewise can aggravate eyes and cause your eyelids to swell.
Blepharitis. This is inflammation of the eyelids, usually triggered by malfunctioning of the oil glands in the lids that empty near the base of the eyelashes.
Blepharitis is characterized by swollen and painful eyelids and can be accompanied by dandruff-like flaky eyelid skin and loss of eyelashes.
Blepharitis generally is a chronic condition, suggesting symptoms can be controlled with appropriate treatment and hygiene practices, however it is never ever completely cured. It typically is connected with a bacterial infection, but likewise can be attributed to acne rosacea and dry eye syndrome.
Periorbital cellulitis. This is a fairly typical infection and/or swelling of the eyelid and portions of skin around the eye. The infection may be caused by bacteria, infections or other pathogens. Periorbital cellulitis likewise is called preseptal cellulitis due to the fact that the afflicted area is anterior to the orbital septum– a sheet-like tissue that forms the difficult, fibrous back portion of the eyelids.
Orbital cellulitis. This is an uncommon but serious bacterial infection of tissues surrounding the eye, leading to painful swelling of the upper and lower eyelid, and potentially the eyebrow and cheek. Other symptoms consist of bulging eyes, reduced vision, fever, and eye pain when moving the eyes.
Orbital cellulitis is a medical emergency situation and timely IV antibiotic treatment often is needed to prevent optic nerve damage, long-term vision loss or blindness and other severe complications.
Ocular herpes. Transmitted by the typical herpes simplex infection, ocular herpes sometimes is called “the fever blister of the eye,” and causes inflammation (and sometimes scarring) of the cornea.
Symptoms of eye herpes can be much like pink eye, however there may hurt sores on your eyelid, blurry vision due to a cloudy cornea and swollen eyes which might be so extreme that it obstructs your vision.
Types of eye herpes variety from a moderate infection to a more serious eye health issue that might result in a corneal transplant or even loss of vision.
Tomb’ disease. This ocular condition, stemming from an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism), typically is related to swollen, puffy eyelids and bulging eyes, along with double vision and drooping eyelids (ptosis). If you display any of these symptoms, see your optometrist as quickly as possible for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Treatment Of Swollen Eyes
Treatment of swollen eyelids depends upon the underlying cause. Your eye doctor or ophthalmologist may recommend medication or suggest over-the-counter treatments such as eye drops.
Normally, if your swollen eyes are due to allergic reactions, antihistamine eye drops or oral allergic reaction medication, along with lubricating “synthetic tears” will help alleviate symptoms. Your optometrist also may recommend mild steroid drops for more severe allergies.
Other causes, such as infection like conjunctivitis or ocular herpes, react well to anti-viral or anti-inflammatory eye drops or lotions, or antibiotics.
Small bouts of swollen eyelids can be eased with home treatments. Primarily, prevent rubbing your eyes as this will only exacerbate your condition.
Also, if you wear contact lenses, remove them up until swelling fixes.
Using a cool compress often can reduce eyelid swelling, as well as splashes of cold water to your closed covers.
If symptoms continue or worsen, or if you experience any pain in your eye, see your eye doctor instantly to dismiss a more sinister reason for your swollen eyes.
4 Tips For Preventing Swollen Eyes
- Get tested for allergic reactions. If swollen eyelids and other symptoms of allergies are a regular event, get yourself allergy checked. By understanding what you’re allergic to, you can try to avoid particular irritants or, at the very least, reduce your direct exposure to them.
- Choose makeup and other appeal items that are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free to assist prevent allergic flare-ups. You can likewise do a spot test on the within your wrist prior to using the makeup on your face to rule out any allergy.
- When using eye drops, look for preservative-free eye drops. While preservatives in routine eye drops inhibit bacterial growth, some people dislike these preservatives.
- If you wear contact lenses, you can minimize your risk of eye infection or inflammation by practicing proper hygiene techniques, including frequent replacement of your contact lenses and contact lens case.