Swollen Eyelid: Causes and Treatment

Swollen eyelid is caused by a number of different causes. In this article, we will look at the possible cause of swollen eyelids and ways to treat it.

swollen eyelid

One medical condition that may prove to be annoying to most people is the swollen eyelid.  Swollen eyelids are caused by a number of different causes and people may ask “How do I treat this swollen eyelid?”. In this article, we will look at the possible cause of swollen eyelids and what are the treatment options available for the aforementioned medical condition.

Swollen Eyelids: A Brief Backgrounder

People may consider swollen eyelids as a minor cosmetic issue but the said medical condition can cause adverse or serious effects particularly if the swelling is already interfering with the individual’s eyesight or ability to see. Some of the more common reasons for eyelids to swell are minor issues. However, some of these seemingly minor problems may prove to be a more serious health condition as previously thought of. Patients who have already been afflicted with eyelid swelling may choose to address the condition using some home treatments for a number of days. However, people who develop swollen eyelids, particularly those who develop it for the first time, should immediately seek medical attention from an ophthalmologist and optometrist.

Possible Causes of Swollen Eyelids

As stated earlier, swollen eyelids can be caused by a number of different reasons. Listed below are some of these  possible causes:


Also known as a hordeolum, a stye is when the eyelid gets infected. The common forms of a stye will usually have the infection at the eyelashes’ base. This condition can also occur on the inside of the patient’s eyelids due to oil glands that get infected. Styes will usually start off as swollen, painful, itchy, and red-colored lumps which can eventually look like a pimple as the days progress. Some stye will also have a head or crown that is colored white. A stye will most usually infect just one or a single oil or tear gland and will need no further medical treatment. The pain can mostly be managed or handled warm compress.

Styes may be made worse by certain eye products which include eye creams and makeup and as such avoiding the use of the said cosmetic products may help reduce the symptoms of a stye. Individuals should also avoid trying to pop the aforementioned skin condition since this can further increase the chances of infection and result in eye damage. Antibiotics may be used to address the extreme symptoms of stye which include impaired vision, the development of a fever, worsening of stye symptoms, painful styes, and the appearance of multiple styes at the same time. Patients are encouraged to seek medical attention if they experience or encounter any of the above-mentioned symptoms.


Styes and Chalazion may look alike but Chalazion is not really an infection but the result of clogged oil glands Patients who have experienced getting a chalazion will most likely get more chalazion with lumps that can get even bigger.

The good news is that chalazion does not usually cause any pain and does not hurt. A chalazion will usually resolve or get well on its own after a number of days very similar to that of a pimple. To help the chalazion clear much faster, a warm compress may be used. Chalazion has been known to become really large and can even obstruct the individual’s eyesight and can also be painful. People may find it hard to differentiate between an eye infection, a stye or a chalazion. If other symptoms present themselves, patients are advised to seek medical attention particularly if the painful bump does resolve itself or if an infection has been identified.


If a swollen eyelid is accompanied by watery, red, and itchy eyes, then it could be that swollen eyelids are caused by allergies. Allergic reactions may have been initiated by certain allergens such as pollen and dust. Fortunately, these allergies are mostly not dangerous but they can be uncomfortable and even annoying. Treatment is usually in the form of avoidance of the aforementioned allergens.

Some patients may opt for certain medications such as over-the-counter or OTC eye drops and antihistamines. These medications are readily available and accessible in pharmacies and even online stores. Patients with eye allergies, however, are still advised to seek medical assistance if their symptoms do not resolve on their own. The patient’s healthcare partner may then prescribe prescription medications and even further testing for allergies.


Fatigue or exhaustion may result in a puffy or swollen eyelid. Overnight retention of water in the eyes can also result in a swollen eyelid. This can lead to puffy and swollen eyes after the individual wakes up, especially if the patient did not get a good quality of sleep. Cold Compresses applied to the swollen or puffy area while lying down may aid in reducing the said symptoms. The swelling and fluid retention may also be addressed by drinking a glass of water.,


Some blood vessels in the eyes may get damaged or rupture if there is persistent and forceful crying. A swollen eyelid often occurs in patients after crying due to fluid retention caused by a heightened increase in the flow of blood in the surrounding areas of the eyes. Drinking some water, the elevation of the head, cool compresses, and rest can aid in reducing eyelid swelling.


Eyes can get irritated when cosmetic products and makeup get into the surrounding tissues of the eyes. This can result in pain, redness and swelling for the patient. Some skincare and cosmetic products may also lead to the swollen eyelid. People who experience these symptoms are advised to use eye drops or artificial tears to help wash away the impurities and help alleviate the discomfort.

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