At some point in our lives, we all have experienced swollen eyelids. Swollen eyelids create a puffy appearance to our face, and make our eyes look swollen. You can develop swollen eyelid from allergies, inflammation, infection, injury or simple irritation. When people experience swollen eyelids, their immediate response is to get rid of it. Though it feels painful to go through such eye conditions, swollen eyelids are mostly harmless. However, it can be harmful if the reason behind its cause is different and associated with a grave eye problem.
Hence you must know the vital symptoms, causes and treatment for swollen eyelids. Treatment for swollen eyelids can begin from home, keep your home remedies around you while you are reading this article. We will help you understand the causes, symptoms and treatment to manage the problem of swollen eyelids. Also, many people get confused between puffy eyes and swollen eyelids which are different things. Hence we will put the difference in each condition to help you understand your situation a whole lot better.
Swollen eyelids vs Puffy Eyes - What is the difference?
Before moving on to the main topic, let us help you differentiate similar eye conditions to get a clear understanding. Puffy eyes get misunderstood as swollen eyes though the cause of them is entirely different. Puffy eyes do not mean that there is inflammation in the eyelids. The condition of puffy eyes develop due to hereditary, it is caused by lack of sleep or excessive sad hours of crying (don’t watch so many emotional movies). Apart from these, stress, allergies and fatigue can also lead to puffy eyes that make it hard to open the eyes. It disrupts your vision and causes discomfort in the eyes.
Causes of Puffy Eyes:
- Sinus or Infection
- Excessive crying
- Stress or exhaustion
- Sleep deprivation
- Allergies that leads to puffiness
- Irritation due to cosmetic use
- Large quantity of salt consumption
These are the only causes of puffy eyes. It is treatable with simple home remedies. You can also give yourself a spa treatment by placing cucumber slices over your eyes. It helps the eyes soothe and calm down a bit. Or you can use ice cubes and press it gently over your eyes.
Medical treatment for puffy eyes is also available. Use of Preparation H helps to reduce the swelling or use an antihistamine to reduce the inflammation all over the body. These simple remedies help you significantly to improve your eye condition and heal immediately.
Treating puffiness is quite simple and it often recovers very soon. Swollen eyelids are different from it and it can lead to serious problems. With this helpful differentiation, you’ll be able to identify your condition and get the necessary treatment.
What are the symptoms of Swollen eyelids?
There are many causes for swollen eyelids hence symptoms vary from one another. Here are the most common symptoms of swollen eyelids:
- Eye irritation i.e excessive itching or scratching
- Pain in the eye
- Sudden redness in the eyelid
- Burning sensation in the eyelid
- Red eyes or inflammation in the conjunctiva
- Light sensitivity
- Dryness in the eyes
- Frequent Watery eyes
- Problems in seeing
- Eye discharge
What causes swollen eyelid?
Swollen eyelid causes differ from harmless eye irritation to a serious eye condition. Here are the most common causes of swollen eyelids.
Eye allergies: Eye allergies are caused by allergens such as pollen, dust, preservatives, contact lenses, makeup and many more. Our eyes are very delicate and any foreign substance can cause an immediate change in it. There’s no such thing as swollen eyelid natural as eyelid inflammation is most commonly caused by foreign particles. It can’t develop naturally.
Our eye allergies result due to the chemical called mediators that protects our eyes from allergens. These chemicals are strong and we are sensitive towards their reaction. Histamine is the most common one that leads to dilation in the blood vessel and hence it starts to swell. It makes the mucous membrane itch that eventually leads to making your eyes red and watery.
Stye - Stye is also similar to swollen eyelid but it's just a swollen reddish bump at any part of the eyelid. A stye is caused by a bacterial infection and meibomian gland inflammation. The meibomian gland produces Meabon, a lipid-rich substance, which gets blocked and causes eyelid swelling.
Blepharitis - It is an inflammatory condition of the eyelid that occurs due to oil glands malfunctioning in the lid. It is characterized as painful and swollen eyelids along with dandruff-like flaky skin around the eyelid and a lot of loss in eyelashes.
It is a chronic eye condition whose symptoms can be regulated with good hygiene and treatment but it never gets entirely treated. It’s regarded as a bacteria infection but it can be caused by acne rosacea and dry eye syndrome.
Conjunctivitis - Also known as pink eye, conjunctivitis is an eye inflammation of the white clear outer lining of the eye surface named conjunctiva. There are many kinds of conjunctivitis and out of them all, the allergic, viral and bacterial pink eye cause swollen eyelids along with other symptoms of red, watery and itchy eyes.
Orbital cellulitis - Rare but severe bacterial infection of tissues surrounding the eye causes orbital cellulitis. It’s characterised as painful swelling of the upper and lower eyelid and even possible to spread on the eyebrow and the cheek area. Symptoms of orbital cellulitis involve bulging eyes, fever, swollen eyelid upper and lower, decreased vision, eye pain and many others.
Chalazion - A chalazion results due to blockage in the meibomian gland. It first develops as a stye then slowly transforms into a hard sebaceous cyst. Chalazion develops away from the eyelid edge and causes swollen eyelids. Ocular herpes - Also known as the cold sore of the eye, Ocular herpes is caused by herpes simplex virus. It causes inflammation and somethings scarring of the cornea. Eye herpes can vary from person to person based on the type. It can be a mild infection or a grave eye health problem that causes corneal transplant or vision loss. Symptoms of eye herpes involve swollen eyelid lower and upper region or blurry vision due to the cloudy cornea and swollen eyes. If it turns significant then it can obstruct your vision.
Use of Contact lens - Contact lenses for many people does not settle right with their eyes. Especially improper contact lenses that are often dirty. If you wear contact lenses while swimming, makeup or store them in a dusty lens, it results in swollen eyelids and eye infection. Do not use damaged contact as well cause it can also irritate eyes and cause eyelid swelling.
Eye Injury - Swollen eyelids can also be caused due to eye injury such as black eye or trauma often caused by cosmetic surgery. It triggers the eye and results in inflammation and swelling eyelids.
What is the treatment for swollen eyelids?
Finding the right remedy for swollen eyelids depends on the underlying cause. Consult your ophthalmologist and you’ll be prescribed remedies and medication such as eye drops.
If you know that your swollen ideas are caused by allergies then antihistamine eye drops and oral allergy medication helps it recover. You can also use lubricating artificial tears to help you cease down the symptoms. Don’t forget to consult your ophthalmologist. If the swollen eyelid causes are allergic then you’ll be advised with mild steroid drops to handle severe reactions that are out of control.
For eye conditions like conjunctivitis or ocular herpes, treatment would be with the use of antiviral or anti-inflammatory eye drops such as ointment or antibiotics. Or if the cause of your swollen eyelids is associated with photophobia then use of photochromic lenses help better to reduce the light sensitivity. Don’t wear contact lenses while you have swollen eyelids, take them out and let your eyelid cure.
If swollen eyelids are only a minor case then switch to home remedies. First, begin with avoiding face contact with your hands. Don’t rub your eyes for a longer time and be aggressive as it only contributes towards increasing the magnitude of the swollen eyelid condition. Press a cool compress over your eyes to reduce the swelling and wash your face often with cold water by closing the lids.
Try these helpful tips to get the swollen eyelid treatment fast recovery. However, if you don’t notice any change or the condition worsen with time then consult your ophthalmologist immediately.
Any swollen eyelid prevention tips?
Go after cosmetics that are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free - Makeup that is hypoallergenic and free of fragrance help to get rid of allergic flare-ups. Do a patch up test before buying anything new to check the reaction. Apply the product on the inside of your wrist and rule out based on the reaction created by the product.
Wear glasses - Who says you can wear eyeglasses only if you have a prescription? Wearing non-prescription glasses helps in preventing swollen eyes as well (apart from being a great style choice). Since exposure to dust, pollen etc. is a major cause of swollen eyes, wearing glasses - especially big ones - can prevent that. If contact lenses are causing irritation in your eyes, prescription glasses are a great alternative.
Get checked for Allergies - If you are someone who experiences an allergic reaction quite often then get checked. Testing can help avoid some specific allergens and help reduce exposure.
Check your eyes drops - Look out for preservative-free eye drops to get the best result. Preservative filled eye drops help to induce bacterial growth, some people are sensitive to these preservatives and develop swollen eyelids. Hence check it clearly to avoid any regretful mistake.