Palpebral Edema

A Quick Guide to Palpebral Edema – AKA Eyelid Swelling

Palpebral edema is just a fancy medical term for swelling of the eyelid. Palpebral edema is a fairly common occurrence, and there many different causes, the most common of which is probably allergies. A palpebral edema – or swollen eyelid – can come about suddenly or happen gradually. Depending on the severity, there are a number of ways to deal with the problem of palpebral edema.


It is not uncommon for a person to wake up with swollen eyes, and this could be caused by allergies or some other condition. Eyelid swelling is not just uncomfortable, it can be alarming because it affects the eyes which are very important to their owners. Most of the time, swelling of the eyelids will go down on its own, often in just a short time after it begins.

If the eyelids become swollen rather quickly and there is no obvious cause, you may just wait a while for them to return to normal. A common treatment is to put a cool to warm wash cloth over the eyes to alleviate the swelling. Some people will take Benadryl or some other over-the-counter medication that is known to reduce swelling. This is fine as long as the swelling does not persist for any length of time. It is never a good idea to squeeze the area that it swollen, because this could actually make the problem worse.


When a case of swollen eyelids does not go away on its own and the cause is unknown, it may be time to take a trip to the doctor. For severe problems that have other symptoms and are seriously hampering vision, it may be wise to head to the emergency room. If the swelling problem does not need immediate attention, your regular doctor should be able to help. An eye doctor or dermatologist can also be seen for problems with the eyes and swelling.

The doctor may treat eyelid swelling differently, depending on the cause. In order to find out what may be causing the swollen eyelids, they will usually want to know about any other symptoms that may be occurring along with the swelling of the eyelids. Proper diagnosis depends on observation of other symptoms to make sure that the swelling is not an indication of something serious.

The most common cause of eyelid swelling, of course, is allergies, and anyone who has allergies usually knows this is the root of the problem. Allergies are usually accompanied by other symptoms, like a runny nose, sneezing and watery eyes. There are a number of medications that can be taken to alleviate allergy symptoms. If the eyelids become swollen because of a food allergy, the best solution would be to stay away from that food.

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is another common reason for swelling of the eyes and eyelids. Conjunctivitis is an extremely contagious eye infection that causes swelling, severe redness and watering of the eyes. The eyes will also become sensitive to light with this infection. The most common treatment for pink eye is application of an antibiotic ointment, which requires a trip to the doctor.

A stye can also be the culprit when it comes to eye swelling, and this is also a fairly common problem. It is not serious and may even go away on its own. Styes are an infection, and they are similar to pimples except they occur right at the base of the eyelashes, which is why they cause swelling. The stye can be easily identified and treated with a doctor’s care.