Swollen eyelids are a symptom of inflammation or accumulation of fluid in the tissues that surround the eye. The condition may affect only one eye or both, and in some cases it may be associated with pain. Other possible associated symptoms are: itching, increased lacrimation, vision problems, eyelid redness, inflammation of the conjunctiva, eye discharge and dry eyes.

It can be caused by: infections, trauma, through illness, the use of inappropriate contact lenses and allergies.


What kind of diseases can be associated with swollen eyes?

The following diseases may be associated with swollen eyes:

  • Food allergy
  • Contact allergy
  • Respiratory allergies
  • Blepharitis
  • Chalazion
  • Orbital cellulitis
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Dacryocystitis
  • Seborrheic dermatitis
  • Glaucoma
  • Herpes simplex
  • Ophthalmic herpes zoster
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Chagas disease
  • Molluscum
  • Graves-Basedow's disease
  • Stye
  • Rosacea
  • Corneal ulcer
  • Burns

Remember that this is not an exhaustive list and it is highly recommended to consult your doctor in case of symptom’s persistence.


What is the therapy for swollen eyelids?

In case of eyelid swelling, the most appropriate remedy depends on its cause. Sometimes medications (e.g. eye drops) can be sufficient.  Other times medications with mandatory requirements (e.g. antibiotic and ointments) are necessary.

In general, in case of allergy you can orally take antihistamine eye drops or antihistamines. Infections like herpes or conjunctivitis may instead require the use of products containing: antiviral and anti-inflammatory. In the presence of bacterial infection, antibiotics can help.

When the disorder is mild, remedies like cold compresses may be sufficient.


When is most likely to contact your doctor in case of swollen eyelids?

If the swelling of the eyelid does not dim, or gets worse and is associated with pain, you should speak with your doctor. In the case of trauma you should contact the E. R.