Swollen eyelids can have many causes, including, for example, allergies, infections, injuries or diseases. Since treatment is highly dependent on the cause, examination by an ophthalmologist is important. In some cases, treatment with home remedies is also sufficient.
Swollen eyelids can be very uncomfortable, cause irritation to the eyes and even affect vision. Whether they pose a danger to the eyes depends on the cause. Therefore, it is important to find out why you have puffy eyelids, because only then will you know if home remedies are enough to treat them or if medication is needed.
Possible causes of puffy eyelids
There are many possible reasons for swollen eyelids. Common causes include the following:
Swollen eyelids are often the result of an allergic reaction. When allergens enter the eyes, substances are produced that are supposed to protect the eyes. One of these substances is histamine, for example. This dilates the blood vessels and the eye swells.
Typical allergens are found in pollen, dust and pet hair. But preservatives, which are found in eye drops, for example, and makeup can also trigger allergic reactions.
A very common eye infection is conjunctivitis. Inflammation of the meibomian gland is also quite common. In this case, the oil-producing gland becomes clogged, causing the swelling of the eye. There are also other oil glands in the eyelid, the blockage of which can cause the eyelids to swell, the eyelid skin to become scaly and the eyelashes to fall out.
Irritation due to contact lenses
If you wear contact lenses, they can be the reason for swollen eyelids. Improper use or dirty lenses can cause irritation of the eye, inflammation or even swelling.
The best-known cause of swollen eyelids due to an injury is the so-called “black eye.” However, injuries due to cosmetic surgery, for example, also cause the eyelids to swell.
Diseases as a cause of swollen eyelids
In rarer cases, sometimes serious diseases can also be the reason why you have swollen eyelids. These include:
This infection of the eye and surrounding tissue causes painful swelling, some of which may even spread to the cheek and/or eyebrow. Other signs include decreased vision and fever. Orbital cellulitis is a medical emergency that must be treated immediately or there is a risk of optic nerve damage.
Hyperthyroidism in this case causes the swelling on the eye. Aside from your eyelids being swollen, you may also notice drooping eyelids and double vision .
The herpes simplex virus causes inflammation of the cornea, which can be accompanied by blurred vision and sores on the eyelid. This inflammation can cause permanent damage to the cornea and must be treated.
These complaints accompany swollen eyelids
Eyelid swelling may affect only one or both eyes and may not be accompanied by pain. The symptoms are highly dependent on the cause. Typical symptoms of swollen eyelids are:
Irritation of the eye (itching, scratchy feeling)
Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
Redness of the eye or eyelid
Dry eyelids, scaling
Pain (especially with inflammation)
Depending on where the puffy eyelids are coming from, you can either treat the discomfort yourself or seek medical help.
What helps against swollen eyelids?
There are some actions you should take immediately if your eyelids are swollen. First, remove contact lenses if you wear them. You should also avoid eye makeup and eye drops with preservatives. Also, try not to rub your eyes – this usually leads to even more irritation.
You can also treat small eye swellings with cooling compresses. This should bring relief. If this is not the case, or if the swelling gets worse, it is time to see an ophthalmologist. Only he can determine the cause with the help of a thorough examination and suggest an appropriate treatment.
Treat swollen eyelids
If the cause of the swollen eyelids is known, the ophthalmologist may use medications to treat it. For allergic reactions, antihistamines and other allergy medications are the main options. So-called “artificial tears” can also provide relief for swollen eyelids.
If, on the other hand, the eyelids are swollen due to inflammation, antiviral or anti-inflammatory medications such as eye drops, ointments or antibiotics are usually used. If the swelling is due to a disease, this must of course be treated first and foremost.
If you have been suffering from swollen eyelids for a long time and home treatments have not brought any relief, you should definitely make an appointment with an ophthalmologist and have your eyes examined.