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Sore Eyelid

Bacterial and viral infections, and allergies to dust, pollen grains, or cosmetics are among the common causes of sore eyelids. In this HealthHearty post, we will discuss the causes and symptoms along with proper course of treatment.
Bidisha Mukherjee
Eyes are highly sensitive organs. Eyelids protect them from dust, debris, germs, as well as injuries. A sore eyelid causes a lot of discomfort. Even something as simple as blinking your eyes becomes painful. In case you experience soreness in both the eyelids, normal vision may be disrupted.
Causes and Accompanying Symptoms
Allergies mostly cause soreness and irritation of the upper eyelids. If the soreness occurs on using certain cosmetics, it is due to the chemicals present in the product that triggered the reaction. Besides that, environmental allergens like dust and pollen can also lead to sore, itchy eyelids.
Eye Stye
This is a pus-filled, pimple-like lump that forms at the base of the eyelash, and the most common cause is a bacterial infection. This bump may lead to sore eyelids.
Herpes Virus Infection
Both herpes simplex virus that causes cold sores, as well as herpes zoster that causes shingles can spread infection to the eyes. The infection occurs when you rub your eyes after touching herpes blisters with your hands. As a result, a cluster of small blisters develop on the eyelid, causing it to swell and further leading to soreness and itching.
Periorbital Cellulitis
This is another infection where the soft tissues in and around the eyes are attacked by bacteria. Initially, it is identified by soreness under the eyelid. Later on, the infected eyelid turns red and tender to touch. In serious cases, facial swelling may occur.
In this condition, tiny glands present in the eyelids fail to provide proper lubrication to the eyes. It is mostly triggered by a bacterial attack on the glands but allergic reactions may also lead to this condition. Here, soreness in the eyelid is accompanied by redness and itchiness.
This cyst forms due to blockage in the oil glands present in the eyelid. The intensity of soreness and swelling largely depends on the size of the cyst. As it grows bigger, the pain worsens.
Treatment for Sore Eyelids
For mild soreness, the first thing to do is to keep the eyelids clean. Splash water on your eyes, several times a day, to clean off debris discharged due to infection.
Warm compression has a soothing effect on eyelid pain. Take a clean washcloth, dip it in warm water, and place it on the eyelids for 5 to 10 minutes. You can repeat this 3 or 4 times a day.
On the other hand, you can try apply a cold compression over the eyelid as well.
If these treatments do not reduce the pain, you must visit a doctor. He will ascertain the cause and suggest a suitable treatment.
  1. Herpes eye infection and periorbital cellulitis are serious eye conditions, and should be treated by an eye doctor.
  2. Antihistamine tablets as well as eye drops are used against allergies.
  3. Bacterial infections like stye are treated with antibiotics that are available in the form of eye drops and ointments.
  4. Doctors often recommend cold compression and a gentle eyelid massage for reducing the size of a chalazion.
Avoid rubbing your eyes, no matter what. Women should avoid applying eye makeup during that time. Most importantly, you should not neglect or delay the treatment as that can result in severe damage to the eyes.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.