Swollen Eyelid

image001Swollen eyelids might be the result of a long night that ran far too late, but more often it is the result of some kind of infection of the eye or surrounding skin. Swollen eyelids might be painful, or they might not cause you any discomfort at all. They can come on slowly and gradually, or you can simply wake up one day to see swollen eyelids in the mirror. No matter what brought it on, there are treatments available at home – and you should always be prepared to see your physician if it appears that your swollen eyelids might be caused by someone mysterious, or if they are hurting you.

Symptoms of Swollen Eyelid

Swollen eyelids can present with many symptoms that go beyond the appearance of the eyes. You might have only a few of these or all of them. In some cases, these symptoms might appear before the eyes begin to swell. The symptoms of swollen eyelids include:

  • Puffiness or inflammation
  • Redness
  • Tenderness or pain
  • Discharge from the eye or an increase in tear production
  • Formation of scales
  • Itchiness
  • Eyelashes that fall out
  • Swelling that extends to the face
  • Fever
  • Difficulty with moving the eyeball
  • Bleeding from the eye
  • Droopy eyelids or other changes in appearance
  • An inability to tolerate bright light
  • Headache or other pain

If you are dealing with swollen eyelids and the following symptoms, this might be a very dangerous medication condition; get help from your physician or emergency services immediately:

  • The swelling begins after you have suffered a head trauma
  • The swelling extends far past your eyes
  • Your fever increases to over one hundred one degrees Fahrenheit
  • Your throat is tight, and if feels hard to swallow
  • You have a headache that is very severe, or the pain in your eyes is unbearable

Causes of Swollen Eyelid

There are many things that can cause a swollen eyelid. Some of these are very mild and will go away quickly without intervention, but some are serious medical conditions.




Infections in the eye can be caused by a wide variety of things, from common allergies to chemicals that have invaded the eye. Infections might be viral or bacterial; in almost all cases, some medications will be necessary to overcome the problem.


This medical condition occurs when the protective membrane inside the eyelids, called conjunctiva, becomes swollen. Other typical signs include itchiness, redness and pain. Your doctor can prescribe medications that easily clear up the problem.

Orbital Cellulitis

This is a very rare medication condition that results in an infection of the tissues around your eye. This requires medical attention.


This is an inflammation and swelling of the eye margin. It is caused either by a skin disorder or by a bacterial infection; again, medical attention is required. The inflammation of the eye margin mostly caused by a bacterial infection or a skin disorder.


These are bacterial infections of the sweat or oil glands at the base of the eyelashes. You might feel swelling, pain, redness and notice pus in the stye. Fortunately, these are usually short-lasting and often go away without medical intervention.


This looks like a stye, but it continues to grow away from the edge of the eyelid. This is caused by a blockage in the tear duct. Treatment for this is often simple medications.

If your eyes are swollen but they aren’t painful, you might be dealing with the following:




Sometimes allergies will present in strange ways, including making your eyelids swell. Allergy medications often take care of the problem.


Allergies can cause your sinuses to become blocked, and any irritation of the sinuses can make your eyes look and feel swollen.

Gland Blockage

There are many glands around the eye; an overproduction of fluids in that area, or a blockage of the fluids, can result in swelling.

Contact Lenses or Solutions

If you are using old or dirty contact lenses, or are using cleaning solutions that have been contaminated or are past their use date, you might suffer from swollen eyelids and other eye problems.

This video explains more potential reasons for swollen eyelids:

Treatment for Swollen Eyelid

When you have a swollen eyelid, the first thing you want to do it make it go away. These treatments can help you do that. However, pay close attention to the other symptoms, and remember that if you suffer from severe swelling or pain, it’s time to get to the doctor.

Warning: No matter which treatment you use, remember not to rub or touch the swollen eyelid. This might be tempting if your eyes are itching, but scratching them will do more harm than good. Avoid wearing any cosmetics or creams during this time – even if you keep the powders and makeup away from your eyes, the tiny particles can still drift through the air and touch your eyes.

1. Hot or Cold Compress

image002Use warm water, almost hot, but not enough to burn you. Dip a washcloth in it, wring it out, and put it on your eyes for ten minutes. You can also use a cold compress, made of a cloth dipped in very cool water. Remember to use a fresh cloth each time.

2. Cold Milk

image003Milk has many healing properties. Dip a cloth into cold milk and place it on your swollen eyelid for up to twenty minutes each time.



3. Potato or Cucumber Slices

image004Potato and cucumber slices can draw out the impurities and help reduce swelling. Use fresh slices that are very cold, and when they warm up, replace them with new ones. Do this often during the day, and remember to rinse your eyes with cool water when you are done.

4. Tea Bag

image005Tea bags that have been soaked in warm water and then squeezed slightly dry can help reduce swelling, especially on your eyes. Leave it on for fifteen minutes. Be sure to clean your eyes afterward, to avoid staining from the tannic acid in the tea.


For even more information on swollen eyelids, check out this video: