top of page

Can swollen eyelids cause dry eye

Swollen eyelids can appear mildly irritating to unsightly. Minor issues cause most instances, and a rare few incidences require immediate medical attention. Let’s look at the most common causes and best practices for treatment.

If after having a good cry. . . and there’s much to cry about nowadays . . . you look in the mirror and notice that your eyes have swelled up like pool rafts, know that it’s a normal response. It may look unsightly for a while, yet it won’t last forever. You can try cool compresses, stay hydrated with water, and rest with your head up. The same is true for eye fatigue as well.

Allergies can make your eyes swell and feel uncomfortable. It can be due to contact lens solution, eye drops, a new makeup product (or one past its expiration date), household chemicals, and the usual suspects of dust, pollen, mold, and even sunburn. If you suspect a chemical burn, immediately wash your eyes in fresh running water. For all else, discontinue usage, and address allergies with your doctor.

If your eyes swelled for reasons that you don’t understand, you could have blepharitis. It’s a bacterial infection that can also involve your skin and become chronic. Besides swelling and discomfort, it can present with dry white flakes along the eyelashes, oily lids, and pain. Removing any eye makeup (if any) is essential, and you may find relief with warm compresses. If needed, your doctor may prescribe an antibiotic ointment.

If a visible bump accompanies your swollen eyes, you could be suffering from a stye or chalazion(s). They both look like bumps on or around the eyelid, which gradually look like pimple(s). Bacteria cause a stye, whereas a clogged oil gland causes a chalazion, and treatment is different.

Allergies, conjunctivitis (pink eye), clogged tear ducts, and ocular herpes (more common in babies) may look similar. They all present with red, swollen, irritated eyes. You may also see crusty drainage with conjunctivitis or clogged tear ducts. Herpes often does not present with a lesion. It’s best not to touch your eyes until you know what you are dealing with.

If any of the following symptoms persist for more than 24–48 hours, it could be a medical emergency that needs to be looked at immediately.

Eyelid swelling accompanied by blurry vision or other changes in vision, fever, shortness of breath, high blood pressure, eye pain, floaters, or a sensation that something is stuck in your eye. Serious problems may include glaucoma, orbital cellulitis, Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), Edema, Eye Cancer/lymphoma (rare), or even unnoticed trauma. It could also be a strong allergy or infection, so don’t panic, yet take action and get it looked at.

Most of the time, eye swelling is due to a minor problem, even if it is very uncomfortable. Do get it checked out if it appears severe or doesn’t seem to be resolving independently.

6 views0 comments


bottom of page