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Swollen Upper Eyelid

Swollen Upper Eyelid

Read on to know the conditions which could possibly be responsible for a swollen upper eyelid, followed by the treatment options for the same.
Aastha Dogra
Last Updated: Apr 22, 2018
Even a slightest problem in the eye can cause great annoyance to any person. And when swelling in the eye occurs, sometimes accompanied by pain, excessive tearing and a blurred vision, it can be highly irritating for anybody. But what causes this eyelid swelling? Can it be prevented? Can it be treated at home? Let us try to find the answers to these questions, by looking at the various causes and treatment options for swelling in the upper eyelid.
Causes
Blepharitis
Swollen upper eyelids could result from an infection caused by bacteria in the oil glands that are located near the eyelashes. Blepharitis can also be caused due to an allergic reaction resulting from usage of cosmetics that contain inappropriate chemicals. Leaving the eye makeup on for a very long time and not washing it before going to sleep, is another reason why this condition occurs. Some of the other symptoms of blepharitis, which accompany swelling are - formation of scales near the eyelashes, excessive tearing, irritation in the skin on the eyelid and feeling a presence of a foreign body in the eye.
Conjunctivitis
Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is caused due to reasons such as the environment irritants, allergies, chemicals in eye medicines, viral infections or a bacterial infection. This condition is communicable and can spread from person to person. When a person has conjunctivitis, the membrane that lines the eyelids gets swollen and becomes itchy. Along with it, conjunctiva, a part of the eye, becomes red and itchy too.
Prolonged Exposure to Sunlight
Swollen eyelid can occur if a person goes out in the sun without any protection and receives sunburns. The skin on the eyelids is very sensitive and prolonged exposure of the eyelid skin to the sun can cause sunburns and the resultant eyelid swelling.
Stye
Hordeolum, also called styes, are caused due to a bacterial infection that occurs in the oil glands located near the eyelashes. This infection of the eye causes swollen eyelid, along with the formation of a lump near the edge of the eyelid. Eye styes can be very painful and sometimes pus can also form in them.
Chalazion
Chalazions develop on the eyelid when the oil glands get blocked by things like cosmetics, dead skin, excess oil, etc. Chalazions cause the eyelids to swell and are sometimes accompanied by pain and redness in the affected eye too.
Orbital Cellulitis
This condition involves a very serious infection in the tissues that surround the eyes. In this condition, Staphylococcus aureus, a kind of bacteria, enters the eye cavity, resulting in pain as well as inflammation. This condition, although very rare, can be very serious, resulting in blurred vision, vision loss, fever and even neurological infection in some cases.
Allergic Reaction
If there is swelling in both the upper eyelids, the reason could be an allergic reaction caused by either of cosmetics, soaps, any food, dust, pollens, chemicals or plants. In some rare cases, the allergy might be restricted to just one of the eyelids, causing swelling and pain in the process. Eyelid edema i.e. built-up of fluids in the eye, can also occur as a result of an allergic reaction.
Treatment
Swollen upper eyelids caused due to Orbital Cellulitis as well as Conjunctivitis, have to be immediately referred to a doctor for early treatment. The one which is caused due to blepharitis or stye, can be treated at home itself, by following a few home remedies and taking a few precautions. Regular application of heat to the eyelids, by giving warm compresses, using a cloth soaked with warm water, can help in relieving the person of pain and swelling. Keeping the eye area clean, by washing the face with a medicinal soap and by refraining from touching the eyelid skin with hands, can both help in preventing the infection from spreading. However, if even after you have taken all such precautions and have been applying heat to the eyelids regularly, the infection still refuses to subside, it is better to consult a doctor. Doctors generally prescribe antibiotic ointments, which have to be applied on the eyelids, to get rid of the pain and swelling caused by blepharitis.
To treat a stye, pus needs to be drained out first. This can be done by pulling the eyelash on which the stye has formed with the help of tweezers. If it is caused due to sunburns, then keeping the eyes cool, by placing cucumbers on them, will prove useful. Avoiding the sun during peak hours or applying sunscreen on the eyelids can help prevent swollen upper eyelids caused due to prolonged exposure to the sun.
Swollen upper eyelids can be highly discomforting for any person. That's why it is always best to prevent such a condition from developing. By keeping the eye area clean, using good quality eye makeup and removing it every night before sleeping, a person can help in preventing most of the conditions that cause swelling in the upper eyelids and avoid this ordeal.