At some point of time in life, we suffer from at least one of the many eye problems. Eye edema is one such complication of the eye that is prevalent in both sexes. Excess fluid buildup or an infection that causes inflammation under the eye are some of the primary factors that manifest in the form of edema. In most cases, fluid buildup is observed under the eyes and is commonly referred to as eye bags. However, when swelling occurs inside the eye, it is categorized into two main types depending on what part of the eye is affected.
Puffy Eyes Causes
Today, we are so engrossed in our hectic lifestyle that we hardly get time to sleep. Moreover to relieve stress, we binge on alcohol. All these factors that include inadequate sleep and excess alcohol consumption contribute to the development of swelling around the eyes. People following a diet that is high in salt or even those who frequently snack on salty foods may also suffer from puffy eyes. Too much salt in the diet prompts the body to retain more fluid. This excess fluid retention is often visible around the eyes.
A severe allergic reaction from medication or foods often manifests in the form of facial swelling that many times affects the eyes. Puffy eyes are often noticed in the elderly, which is quite normal. With increasing age, the skin below the eyes loses its elasticity and firmness. As a result, the skin around the eyes appears saggy and droopy. Drooping skin under the eyes in old age is common and often looks similar to eye edema.
People getting puffy eyes even at a young age has also been attributed to improper working of the tear glands. The tear glands that lie within the inner walls of the eyelids release fluid which helps to keep the eyes moist. However, tear gland disorders can lead to fluid buildup around the eyes, eventually causing edema.
Swelling around the eyes can also be due to skin problems such as dermatitis. Exposure to skin irritants such as soaps and detergents can also make the skin swollen. Cosmetics also contain skin irritants, so too much application of eye makeup can also cause dermatitis.
Types of Eye Edema
When the swelling occurs at the cornea, it is referred as corneal edema. This is the most common type of edema diagnosed in people. In case, the retina of the eye appears swollen, it is called macular edema. More specifically, the macula, an area on the retina gets swollen, which results in changes in vision. A thorough examination of the eye by an eye specialist, is needed to diagnose this condition. Corneal edema can cause moderate to severe pain in the eye, whereas macular edema hardly causes any pain.
Whether it is macular or corneal vision, the person's ability to view things normally, is affected. Blurred vision is the most common symptom of eye edema. Foggy vision is something that is commonly associated with eye edema in which the person is also sensitive to light and may see halos around light.
Infection to the eye is the most common cause of edema inside the eyes that interferes with normal eyesight. The degree of vision impairment will depend upon the severity of infection. An injury such as blunt blow to the eye can also lead to eye edema. Other causes are given below:
Macular Edema Causes
This type of eye edema is often regarded as a complication in diabetes. It is known as diabetic retinopathy in which the retina gets damaged. With age, this small part of the retina deteriorates and can also lead to macular edema.
Corneal Edema Causes
Side effect of eye surgery, especially cataract operations, can affect the cornea and lead to this eye problem. Even ill-fitting contact lenses or excess use of contact lenses can damage the cornea in the long run and eventually cause corneal edema.
Doctors will decide the treatment depending upon the type of edema. However, treatment is very much essential to halt the progress of vision impairment. Unfortunately, eye edema cannot be completely cured and timely treatment is extremely important to prevent further complications. The following are the treatment options:
Macular Edema Treatment
Anti-inflammatory drops are commonly prescribed to treat this eye complication. The doctor may advice some oral medications to decrease the swelling.
Corneal Edema Treatment
There are eye drops that have been specially formulated to treat this eye condition. These medications are available over the counter and 1-2 drops at regular intervals can relieve discomfort considerably. Diseases related to the cornea, generally require surgery to resolve the issue.
In rare cases, eye edema related to the cornea, requires complete removal of the affected cornea and is replaced with a new cornea (corneal transplantation) to improve the vision. To avoid surgery, consultation with the doctor at the right time is crucial.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.