Swollen eyelid in toddlers may not always be a concerning issue. But given their tender age, a pediatrician must be consulted so that potential problems can be ruled out.
The symptoms of a swollen eyelid may have several plausible reasons. Nonetheless, getting your child checked by a pediatric ophthalmologist is advisable. The reason being, that the swollen eyelid may also be as a result of an injury, which may have caused internal damage to the eye.
Eye Problems in Children that Cause Swelling
#1 – Allergic Conjunctivitis
Children are rather susceptible to allergic reactions which can cause the eyelids to swell up. The allergy could be as a result of dust, pollution, pollen, certain medications, or food products. This conjunctivitis does not have any pathogenic tendencies and can be treated with prescribed eye drops and medications meant specially for kids.
As a home remedy some natural honey poured on the eyelid works excellently, as it helps sooth the eye.
#2 – Blepharitis
This eye condition occurs when the oil glands in the eyelids get clogged. This causes inflammation and crusts to form around the eyelids, and eyelashes, and are very evident and pronounced during the morning, when the child has just woken up. Children find it hard to open their eyes properly, as the eyelashes get stuck and the mucus or discharge dries up. This condition, if not treated properly can lead to stye among children. The sticky sensation is often accompanied with irritation and itching.
Eye drops as well as no-tears-eye wash will be needed to help unclog the oil glands.
#3 – Chalazion
When the meibomian gland becomes inflamed, it causes a swollen nodule or lump to appear on the eyelid. This nodule will not be red, will not contain pus, or have a stye-like head. Even though a chalazion will usually subside on its own, applying warm compression aids in soothing the swelling.
In many individuals, this condition keeps reappearing, in which case the affected area may need excision in order to remove the nodule.
#4 – Conjunctivitis or Pink Eye
Conjunctivitis may turn out to be bacterial or viral in nature. Even though, both types of infection display different symptoms, they are equally contagious in nature. When bacterial in nature, there is a thick mucous like liquid which is secreted around the eye, which causes the eyes to become matted around the corners. Antibiotics alone help cure this infection and usually take 4-5 days to disappear. When viral in nature, the infection leads to watery-eyes and running nose, and is often accompanied with a mild cough and cold.
The infection usually disappears on its own, though antibiotics will be needed if the watery discharge is too much. However, there is no fever with this infection.
#5 – Corneal Abrasion
Corneal Abrasion is a condition very common among children. It occurs as a result of scratching the eyes too often or due to fingernail injuries. This type of eyelid swelling is easily treated with antibiotic eye drops. If the abrasion is on the pupil, then special treatment will be required immediately. It’s safer not to shrug off these symptoms as a normal abrasion, and the affected area on the eye must be checked by an adult as soon as it is detected.
#6 – Dacryostenosis
This is an eye condition commonly found in newborn babies and infants below the age of 1 yr. Dacryostenosis occurs when the tear duct gets clogged. The tear duck is connected to the nasal system and when it gets blocked, it can cause one of the eyes to water once in a while.
There will also be mucous formation around the eyes, which must be cleansed with a sterilized cloth dipped in very mild warm water. If the discharge is too much then you should get the baby’s eyes checked by the pediatrician.
#7 – Hordeolum or Stye
One of the most common causes is stye. This is a painful as well as a prickly condition, wherein a pus filled nodule forms on, or underneath the eyelids.
It requires antibiotic eye drops for it to heal faster. Heat treatment works very slowly against pus and will thus take longer to heal.
#8 – Periorbital Cellulitis
Periorbital Cellulitis is by far the most dangerous eye infection among children. It is always accompanied with fever and is a painful condition, which causes the eyes to look swollen. In extreme cases, when the infection is allowed to be left untreated, it can cause the eyes to protrude. Never ignore these symptoms and get your child treated immediately.
#9 – Herpes Induced Infection
Viral infections such as that of herpes zoster (HZV), and herpes simplex (HSV), can cause eye infection and eyelid swelling among children. Medical treatment is a necessity in such cases, because this condition can cause severe pain, fever, and discomfort for the child.
#10 – Infection from Friction
Children tend to scratch and pull at their eyelids, whenever dust particles trouble their eyes. The friction and the force with which kids rub their eyelids, can cause the skin to get raw and sore. This aggravates their irritation and makes kids fiddle with their eyes further, which often results in eye infection, swelling, and redness. The reason infection sets in, is because the germs and dust from the fingers and the lashes, find refuse in the cracks, and in the torn skin around the eye.
An ideal way to avoid this common problem is to keep your child’s fingernails clipped and short, so that the nails do not injure the sensitive skin around the eye. Secondly, ensure that you keep your child’s hands washed and sanitized, in order to keep germs away.
The above mentioned eye conditions are the most common causes for swollen eyelid among young children. If the symptoms look abnormal, then getting the child checked by an ophthalmologist would be the safest thing to do.
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.