Dr. Jim Martin 09/10/2015

6337840_orig.pngSwollen eyelids are a common, yet irritating problem. But far from being just an aggravation, they can be the sign of more serious trouble that may affect your vision. That's why it's important to visit an eye doctor if your symptoms persist, worsen or change.

What Are The Symptoms?

Besides the actual swelling, which occurs when there is excess fluid in the tissues surrounding the eye, there are a variety of other symptoms that come with swollen eyelids:

  • Itchy eyes and other eye irritation

  • Watering eyes/excess tear production

  • Obstructed vision

  • Redness of the eyelid

  • Eye discharge

  • Dryness or flaking

  • Pain

Are Swollen Eyes Different From Puffy Eyes?While puffy eyes most commonly refer to swollen eyes from water retention, genetic traits such as circles under the eyes, or lack of sleep, swollen eyes are a reaction to an allergy, infection or injury.

What Are The Causes Of Swollen Eyelids?

There are a variety of causes for swollen eyelids, some more serious than others:

Allergies - Allergies occur when your immune system overreacts to a foreign substance, whether it's pollen, eye drops, pet dander, dust or other substances.

Chalazion - A chalazion, which is like a stye in that it is caused by a blocked or infected gland in your eyelid, forms into a hard cyst. Chalazions generally develop away from the eyelid edge, unlike styes.

Conjunctivitis - Commonly known as pink eye, conjunctivitis occurs when the clear lining of the surface of the eye becomes inflamed.

Injuries - Any injury or trauma to the eye can cause inflammation and swollen eyes.

Contact Lens Use - Wearing dirty contact lenses, storing your contact in a dirty lens case, or swimming in contact lenses can irritate eyes and cause your eyelids to swell.

Blepharitis - This is a chronic condition that involves inflammations of the eyelids, usually because of malfunctioning of the oil glands in the lids near the eyelashes.

How Do You Treat Swollen Eyes?

Treatment of swollen eyelids will vary according to the underlying cause or causes. Your optometrist may prescribe medicine, or recommend common remedies such as eye drops, or antihistamine drops and oral allergy medication for allergies.

For more serious causes, such as conjunctivitis or ocular herpes, treatment can involve anti-inflammatory or antiviral eye drops, ointments, or antibiotics.

For more information about swollen eyelids, their causes, and treatment, contact Broome Optical in Amarillo today. One of our eye doctors will consult with you to develop the best course of treatment.

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