Eyelid Edema

Several Causes of and Treatments for Eyelid Edema

Eyelid edema is a swelling of the eyelids due to an excess of fluid buildup in them. Uncomfortable and unsightly, eyelid edema can prove to be just a minor irritation for some or a vision-threatening problem for others. For information regarding common causes of swollen eyelids and possible treatments, refer to the rest of this article.

If you are currently experiencing eyelid edema, particularly severe swelling that puts pressure on the eye, it is incredibly important that you seek medical attention promptly. You may have an infection that can only be cleared up with medication, or the pressure may injure nerves in your eye and result in some vision loss.


Allergies, airborne and otherwise, are by far the most common cause of swelling in the eyelid. Yours eyelids may be swelling as the result of coming into contact with certain pollens, cosmetics, synthetic fibers, and even chemicals in the air. In some cases, even a bug bite can cause this excessive swelling.

The easiest way to get rid of this problem is to avoid any known allergens. If you discover that your new eyeliner is causing discomfort such as itchiness or redness, then logic dictates that it contains something your body is not happy with—get rid of it.

If you live in the southern US and have an allergy to dogwood or cotton, it will be impossible to eradicate it from the air. There are other treatments, however, that can help to lessen the intensity of the swelling. Cold compresses can do much for easing the swelling in your eyelids. If you have ongoing allergies, however, your doctor will likely need to prescribe a special immunosuppressive drug.


Infection is another common cause of eyelid edema. Infections should be taken very seriously since they can lead to orbital cellulitis and eventually vision loss of the affected eye. Infections can come from virtually anywhere since the eyes are so delicate. Anything from conjunctivitis to a small grain of sand or grit can cause issues infections in your eye that may lead to swelling and involuntary shutting.

Treatments for infections will, of course, vary depending on the type of infection you are suffering from. Infections are usually accompanied by other side effects such as crusting, redness, itchiness, and leaking. It is possible that you will be given multiple medications including creams, pills, and even injections in some cases to get the situation under control.


Trauma is another common cause of varying degrees of swelling of the eyelids. Depending upon how sensitive your eyes are to pressure and friction can greatly determine the severity of the swelling and the likelihood of it in the first place. Trauma does not necessarily have to be caused by a prize fight or an elementary school fight after the bell rings; rubbing your eye fervently can be enough to irritate or damage the tender tissues in your eyelid.


One of the best ways to treat this problem is to prevent it from happening in the first place. If you participate in a lot of outdoor activities or full contact sports, you may want to invest in some protective goggles for certain activities, or at least some shatter-proof sun glasses.

If trauma does occur, however, and your eye begins to swell you need to quickly get a cold compress and place it gingerly on the eye. If a foreign object struck you, this will help reduce all eye swelling; you will likely still bruise, however.

Remember, eyelid edema should be treated seriously. Only your doctor can rule out the possibility of infection, so be sure to seek medical attention if your eyes begin to swell.