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Swollen Eyelid - Symptoms, Treatment, Pictures, Causes

Updated on December 31, 2013

What is a Swollen eyelid?

When a person has a swollen eyelid it is usually an indication of some kind of an infection. There are two categories of swollen eyelids: painful and non-painful. When you have a swollen eyelid it can be severe or mild, long-lasting, or temporary. It can come on slowly or happen quickly. No matter what, it is something that should not be ignored. Everyone has had to deal with a swollen eyelid at some time in their life. Depending on how severe it is, whether you know what is causing it, and if it is painful or not, you can try to treat it at home or see your physician.


When a person has swollen eyelids they can be accompanied by a variety of other symptoms. These other symptoms can either take effect or happen after, during, or before the eyelids begin to swell. Some of these other symptoms can include:

  • Redness
  • Inflammation
  • Formation of scales
  • Itchiness
  • Puffiness
  • Discharge
  • Tenderness
  • Loss of eyelashes
  • Facial swelling
  • Fever
  • If you have the medical condition chalazion, you not have any other symptoms.
  • If your swollen eyelids are due to an allergy you may have itchy, watery eyes, and sneezing.
  • If you have bulging of the eyes, intolerance to heat, and increase in appetite, fatigue, along with swollen eyelids you may have Graves’ disease.
  • Difficulty moving the eyeball
  • Bleeding from the eye
  • Pain
  • Eyelid that is droopy
  • An increase sensitivity to light
  • Increase in the production of tears
  • Headache
  • Swelling and facial pain that may be symptoms of sinusitis.

Symptoms along with swollen eyelid that could indicate a life-threatening or serious condition

  • After suffering a head trauma your eyelids begin to swell.
  • Your throat feels tight
  • General swelling
  • A fever higher than one hundred one degrees Fahrenheit.
  • A headache that is severe.


Some of the causes of having a non-painful swollen eyelid may include:

  • Allergies that are or are not known such as from soaps, animals, plants, makeup, body spray, certain foods, medicine, bug bites, etc.
  • Allergies or retention of water that causes your sinuses to be irritated.
  • Blockage of a gland as the result of an infection or overproduction of fluids within your eye.
  • Contact solutions or lenses such as the lenses being dirty or being allergic to certain types of contact cleaning solutions.

Some of the causes of having a painful swollen eyelid may include:

  • Having an infection in your eye that can be cause by virus or bacterial infections. The infection could also be cause by everything from chemicals to allergies.
  • Having the exposed regions of your eyeball and the membrane that protects the lining of your eyelids become itchy, red, and swollen. This is known as conjunctivitis or pinkeye.
  • Having an infection of one of the tissues that surround your eyes known as orbital cellulites. It is a rare condition.
  • Have an inflammation of the eye margin that is usually caused by a skin disorder or bacterial infection known as Blepharitis.
  • Having an infection that occurs in the oil or sweat producing glands at the bass of your eyelashes and is known as a stye. It can also be accompanied by redness, pus, and swelling.
  • Having an eye duct blockage that develops in the lubricating glands of the eye known as chalazion. It resembles a stye but it grows away from the edge of your eyelid.
  • Having a condition known as ocular shingles that is caused by a virus known as Varicella Zoster.
  • It can also be a symptom of hyperthyroidism which is when you body produces too much thyroid hormone.
  • Having eye surgery or injury.
  • Having a foreign object in your eye or hit your eye.

Swollen Eyelid Pictures


The treatment that would be used would depend on the cause and the severity of your swollen eyelid along with any other symptoms that might accompany it. One of the first things that you need to remember not to do is to rub or touch the swollen eyelid. You should also avoid wearing any makeup on your eyelid or anywhere on your face, especially base and powders.The reason is that particles can fly through the air causing more irritation.

If the cause of your swollen eyelids is due to allergies you can take an over-the-counter antihistamine and if they do not seem to help talk to your physician for a prescription for a stronger antihistamine. You can also use over-the-counter or prescription eye drops. If it is caused by an infection, your physician may prescribe an antibiotic. For cases of conjunctivitis, your physician will prescribe an antibiotic cream. It is also advisable to discard any makeup that you have used a few days before your eyelid became swollen.

If you cannot get into see your physician right away here are some home remedies that you can try to help relieve some of the swelling and pain.

  • You can apply hot or cold compresses to your eyes. Make sure that the water is not so hot that it will cause a burn. Dip a cloth in the water, ring it out, and put it on your eyes. Leave it on for at least ten minutes. You can do this several times a day but each time you do, make sure that you are using a clean cloth.
  • You can dip a cloth, gauze pad, or cotton ball in cold milk and put it on your swollen eyelid Leave it on for fifteen to twenty minutes to give you some temporary relief.
  • Use fresh potato or cucumber slices to help decrease the swelling. The slices need to be very cold so when they get warm, replace them. You can do this several times a day.
  • To help decrease the swelling you can soak a tea bag in warm water, squeeze a little of the water out, and put it on your swollen eyelid. The tea contains tannic acid. After leaving it on for fifteen minutes you should notice some relief.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


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    • Doneta Wrate profile image

      Doneta Wrate 

      19 months ago from Michigan

      I have taken care of swelling caused by a stye by just applying triple antibiotic to the eyelid three time a day until it goes away.

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Thx for sharing

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Thanks for ur comments

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hope this works.

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Does this really work

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Very insightful thanks


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