It’s a horrible feeling to get up with a swollen eyelid and honestly speaking its way more than a cosmetic annoyance. When severe, this swelling can cause some terrifying pain. Most cases of swollen eyelids are totally harmless, but this seemingly minor problem can get really serious at times. Though most of us just leave the bumps unattended so that they dry out eventually, understanding what the swelling is all about and trying a few home remedies can be a really good idea.
Here we are trying to help you understand the causes of various swellings and infection that affect your eyelids.
A stye (hordeolum) is an infection that affects the oil glands on our eyelids. The most common type is formed at the base of the eyelashes. Sometimes these occur on the inside of the eyelid and can be really painful. You will notice a red, swollen and itchy eyelid, and soon it would turn into lumps. In a few hours or a day’s time, they start to look like pimples. Some even have a white head. The precaution to be taken during these times is not to wear any kind of eye makeup, be it mascara, eyeliner, kajal, and eyeshadow. Warm compressions would really help heal the stye faster. All you have to do is take a bowl of lukewarm water and add a teaspoon of salt to it. With cotton pads, use this concoction to clean the eyelid gently.
2. Pink Eye
Conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye, is an inflammation of the conjunctiva a clear, thin tissue lining the eyelid and eyeball. While the eye turns reddish, the patients do experience a lot of pain, accompanied by itching, and swelling of the eyelids. Conjunctivitis is a viral infection that runs its course and disappears after 7-10 days. At times this eye infection may be triggered due to a bacterial attack. Even chemical irritants like perfumes and shampoos or dust and pollen allergies can vex the eyes and lead to conjunctivitis. Warm compresses can bring some relief in these cases too. Though you’d want to, avoid touching or rubbing the affected eye, wash your hands at regular intervals to prevent the infection from spreading. If the symptoms start getting worse and the pain grows severe, or if conjunctivitis does not cure in a few days, visit an eye specialist who may prescribe a few antibiotics in the form of eye drops to soothe your eyes.
If you find your eyelids swollen and are suffering from irritation, redness, and watery eyes, chances are you are suffering from an allergy. This could be due to pollen, dust, or other common allergens that can irk your eyes, triggering a reaction. Eye allergies are not really dangerous in general, but can sure get annoying as hell. While suffering from such allergies the best treatment is to avoid allergens of all kinds. We would suggest taking antihistamines. Some over-the-counter eye drops available at the pharmacies can also help ease the dryness and itchiness. If it lasts for over 3 days, visit your doctor to get your eyes examined and rule out serious allergies.
4. Makeup and skincare products
At times makeup and skincare products make their way into our eyes and irritate them. In extreme cases, these foreign products may swell up the eyes, turn them red and result in a painful mess. If you experience such a burning sensation and swelling in your eye area, try using cooling eye drops available at almost all pharmacies to keep your eyes lubricated. Remember that the swelling, in this case, has happened due to the eye coming in contact with chemicals it didn’t receive positively. Give it a day to cool down, and then head for the doctor’s office to find out the root cause of the swelling in the eyelids so that you can avoid using those chemical-laden products in future. Avoid using any form of eye makeup for a week.
Exhaustion or fatigue often make eyelids look swollen and puffy. The overnight water retention may also make the eyelids look all puffed up on waking up the next morning. If you didn’t get a night of good sleep after an arduous day, the eyes can appear even worse the next morning. Applying a few strokes of cold compress while keeping the head elevated on a soft pillow before dozing off will also help. Don’t forget to drink plenty of water to reduce this swelling and solve this problem of swollen eyelids due to fluid retention.
6. Blocked tear duct
When a tear duct gets blocked, the eye fails to drain tears completely, and this causes discomfort and redness of the eyelids. People suffering from blocked tear glands often notice crusty drainage and find it difficult to open their eyes while waking up in the morning. This situation especially affects infants and newborns. The blocked tear duct is an annoying condition but is not a harmful one. Warm compresses with soft cotton cloth or cotton pads help reduce the swelling and drain out the tear duct. Gently massage the affected area so the pressure reduces. If a blocked tear duct becomes infected, you will experience extreme pain in the eyelids. You may also suffer from fever. In such a case one must seek prompt medical care to treat the infection with antibiotics. Seldom have we seen cases of blocked tear ducts not clearing up naturally. In rare cases, the doctor may need to perform a medical procedure to unclog the tear ducts on the eyelids.
Crying often ruptures tiny blood vessels in our eyes and eyelids. The damage can be severe if one has been crying incessantly for long hours. It’s common to have swollen eyelids if one has been crying for long due to fluid retention. The increase in blood flow around the eyes is also a cause of this. Take enough rest, use cool compressors, elevate the head a little, and drink plenty of water to soothe the eyelids. Also, avoid using lights that are too bright for a short while.
Though it looks similar to a stye, a chalazion, on the other hand, occurs when more oil glands in the eyelid become clogged. People who have suffered from chalazion will know that these lumps appear quite frequently and they grow larger than a regular stye. The only respite is that a chalazion rarely turns painful. Just that if the swelling grows too large, it may obstruct clear vision. The chalazion clears up on its own in a few months. To accelerate the cure, try warm compresses 4 times a day. If the bump doesn’t diminish at all in a week, visit an eye doctor.
9. Orbital cellulitis
Orbital cellulitis is a muscular infection that affects our eyelids. This kind of swelling of the eyelids occurs due to the spread of a bacterial infection in the sinus. If the situation turns too painful to handle and the eyes become streaked, red, swollen, immediate medical help should be sought. It is a serious eyelid infection and calls for special antibiotic treatment. Depending on its severity, your doctor may find it necessary to resort to the use of intravenous (IV) antibiotics.
10. Graves’ disease
This disease occurs due to a hormonal disorder and is directly linked to an overactive thyroid. It leads to an inflammation in the eye area. You need to consult an endocrinologist to treat this disease.
11. Ocular herpes
Ocular herpes is a viral infection that occurs around the eyes. Anyone can develop this disease but it is relatively more common in children. Ocular herpes often causes a watery discharge and redness and swelling of the eyelids. It may affect the cornea of your eye. Your eye specialist may prescribe some anti-viral eye-drops and oral medication to control the viral infection.
Do you work on your laptop for long hours and often complain of dry eyes? If your answer is yes, you are more prone to suffer from blepharitis! People with this condition have oily eyelids and find dandruff-like flakes around their eyelashes. Blepharitis often becomes painful, at times causing burning sensations around the eyelids. Warm compresses help soothe the pain. Be careful while removing eye makeup, and try to use eyelid scrubs as much as possible to avoid blepharitis. If the infection becomes severe do visit the eye specialist without the slightest delay. An ophthalmologist could prescribe an antibiotic ointment to treat this infection.
A cold compress is one of the most common treatments for swollen eyelids. Remember, prevention is better than cure. Always make sure to throw away eye makeup that has crossed its expiry date. Also, don’t forget to remove makeup thoroughly before going to bed. Splashing the eyes with cold water about three to four times a day would help keep all kinds of eye infection at bay. Did you suffer from swollen eyelids recently? Do tell us how you coped with this minor eye problem.
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