Swollen Eyelid Causes

There’s nothing worse than waking up with swollen or puffy eyes in the morning. Perhaps you cried yourself to sleep after watching Meredith’s beloved Derek die in Grey’s Anatomy, or you have allergies, inflammation, infection or injury. I know I'm definitely the culprit of a soapy television drama… (it’s not the same without you Derek!!).

All jokes aside, a swollen eyelid is a very common symptom. Fun fact: the skin of your eyelid is less than 1mm thick, also however, loose and stretchy, which makes your eyelid susceptible to ‘puffing up’ quite dramatically - which isn’t ideal. Causes of a swollen eyelid can range from fluid retention to a severe infection. More specific causes include:

  • Allergies.
  • Bug bites.
  • Fluid retention.
  • Pink eye (conjunctivitis).
  • Stye (appears as a tender, red bump).
  • Cyst (a blocked oil gland).
  • Orbital or pre-orbital cellulitis (inflammation that spreads to the skin around your eyes).
  • Trauma or injury (often accompanied by discoloration).

If your eyelids are tender and painful to touch, the cause is likely an infection, cyst, or stye. It’s super important to identify the cause of your swollen eyelid as treatment options vary. Luckily we have some solutions to treat either an infection, cyst or stye!

Cyst - If you have a cyst, your upper or lower eyelid would be swollen. Cysts can take a few weeks to clear, and if left untreated, it can develop into a hard lump. Treating a cyst is pretty simple, all you have to do is hold a warm, wet cloth over your eye - the heat assists with oil secretion and blockage. Repeat this process four to five times a day until it clears! If that nasty little bump is still lingering, it’s probably best to visit your doctor for a consultation.

Stye - A stye is formed in response to a bacterial infection which appears near the base of your eyelashes - the best way to describe it is that it’s similar to a pimple because it’s also filled with pus - ouch! Similar to a cyst, a stye is also treated with a warm wet compress. Styes usually take a few weeks to clear up and it’s best to avoid wearing any makeup during this timeframe as it can result in another infection.

Pink eye (conjunctivitis) - We’ve all heard the classic misdemeanour of passing wind on someone’s pillow… Pink eye occurs because of a bacterial, viral, or an allergic infection which causes inflammation on the surface of your eye. It may start with one eye, however there is the possibility of it happening in both. Your eye or eyes may possess a sticky coating of pus on your eyelashes and in the corner of your eyes. It’s best to avoid touching your eyes during this time, and a regular pillow case wash is a necessity! To get rid of the crusty effects, clean with warm water and a cotton pad.

Please keep in mind that if your swollen eyelids are accompanied by the following symptoms, it is paramount that you visit your doctor…

  • Pain in your eye.
  • Blurry or distorted vision.
  • ‘Floaters’ in your vision.
  • The sensation that something is stuck in your eye.
  • Inability to move your eye.

We at Ritology are all about providing insight and solutions to any health problems. Stay up to date with @RitologyDaily for more!