Swollen eyelid - What is it and how do I treat it? | Eye Health

Swollen eyelid – What is it and how do I treat it?

When fluid accumulates in the tissues around your eyes, you might suffer from swollen eyelids, along with itching or pain.

swollen eyelid

Source: The pharmaceutical journal

What are the causes of swollen eyelids?

Typically, a swollen eyelid is often an indicator of another underlying medical condition, such as, but not limited to:

  • Blepharitis (inflammation of eyelids and eyelid margin)
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Herpes zoster ophthalmicus (shingles around the eyes)
  • A clogged oil gland in your eyelid (chalazion)
  • An eyelid infection (stye)
  • Orbital cellulitis (inflammation around your eye socket)

When should you see a doctor?

See your doctor immediately when you have the following symptoms:

  • Eye pain
  • Blurry vision
  • Worsening vision
  • Eye floaters (tiny objects that appear to float or drift around) in your vision
  • The sensation of something foreign stuck in your eye
  • Unable to or pain when you move your eye muscles
  • Eye cancer that may pressure your eye to push forward, making it appear like your eyelid is swollen instead

An eye care professional can determine the reasons behind your swollen eyelids. Get an accurate diagnosis from your eye care professional when you have any type of inflammation, infection or other causes of swelling that do not subside after some time.

How are swollen eyes treated?

If you do see a doctor for your condition, your doctor might prescribe antibiotics or eye drops to relieve the discomfort or pain. If your swollen eyes are due to stress, fluid retention, lack of sleep or allergies, you can treat them at home. For instance, you could use a saline solution to cleanse your eyes from any discharge. If your eye is infected, you may need to use antibiotic cream, eye drops or ointment to alleviate your discomfort.

swollen eyelid

Home remedies for swollen eyelids (Source: Kenya News)

To alleviate your symptoms, here are additional ways to take care of your eyes:

  • Place a clean, wet cloth on your eyes twice a day for 15 minutes at a time to loosen crust from your lashes and remove extra oil that might be clogging up your glands.
  • Use a cotton swab or cloth to gently clean your lids with mild soap and water. Rinse well after cleaning your eyes.
  • Give your eyes a rest by avoiding contact lenses or makeup.
  • Over-the-counter artificial tears or eye lubricants can moisten your dry eyes.

If you have swollen eyes or suspect your eyes might be inflamed or infected, go for an eye appointment to have them checked. Book your appointment via planoEyecheck.


​​Healthline. 2021. Treatment Options for Swollen Eyelids. [online] Available at: <https://www.healthline.com/health/swollen-eyelid-treatment#when-to-see-a-doctor> [Accessed 8 December 2021].

Swollen Eyelid. [online] Available at: <https://www.webmd.com/eye-health/eyelid-inflammation-blepharitis> [Accessed 8 December 2021].


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