Swollen Upper Eyelid

The upper eyelid is there to keep your eyes moist and to protect your eyes from injury. While awake, the eyelid blinks often to clean the surface of the eye. This keeps the eyeball moist and brushes out foreign objects like dust.

If your upper eyelid is swollen, it can be painful and somewhat embarrassing too. You need to understand what caused your swollen eyelid so that you can treat it properly, and also prevent it from happening again in the future.

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Common causes of swollen upper eyelids:

Blepharitis
This is the most common cause. Symptoms of this condition include irritation of the eyelid, watery eyes, and crusts appearing near the eyelashes. Blepharitis can be caused by a variety of things, such as allergies, medications and environmental conditions. It can also be caused by leaving eye makeup on for too long, or letting it get into your eye. If this is the cause of your swollen upper eyelid, it doesn't require any special treatment as it will go away by itself. However, you can put a damp cloth over your eye to make it feel a bit better.

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye
Pink eye can also cause your upper eyelid to swell. For more information about pink eye, read this article: How to get rid of pink eye

Lice
You can get lice at the root of your eyelashes, and this can cause your upper eyelid to swell up. You should never use any kind of anti-lice product to treat this kind of problem because that can harm your eyes. What you can do though is apply a bit of Vaseline or non-medicated ointment to suppress the lice from laying new eggs and breeding more. Then you just have to wait for them all to die out.

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Edema
The upper eyelid can swell up due to the accumulation of fluid. This is often because of an allergic reaction to various things, such as medicines, pollen, chemicals, cosmetics, animals and even certian kinds of food. This can also cause redness and pain in your eye.

Stye
This is caused by a bacterial infection occuring in the sebaceous glands near the eyelashes. This can make your eyelid swell up and form a bump on the edge of the eyelid. These can be very painful and there may be pus in them as well. The pain and swelling can be remedied somewhat by using a warm compress on the area. It's also good to avoid using any kind of cosmetics or using any lotions on the area.

Chalazion
This is caused by the accumulation of oil within the meibomian gland. This gland is normally responsible for keeping the upper eyelid properly lubricated, but if it gets obstructed, it can get blocked and the oil builds up and forms a lump. This is different from a stye because the oil gland isn't actually infected, it's just blocked. Chalazions can be treated at home with warm compresses and avoiding cosmetics. If the swelling doesn't go away after a few weeks of using warm compresses, then you should go see a doctor.

Sunburn
Your eyelids can swell up if they are exposed to too much sunlight and get burned. The skin on your upper eyelids is very sensitive, so be very careful to avoid too much sunlight. A cold compress works well to ease the pain in this case, or putting cold slices of cucumber over your eyes can also help.

Allergies
Eye makeups, body lotions and things like that can cause allergic reactions that can make your eyelids swell up. This will generally affect both eyelids. Other things can also cause the eyelid to swell, such as plant allergies, hairspray, nail polish and various other chemicals, and even allergies to animals.

Tips

Most upper eyelid swelling is not very serious and can be treated at home, but whatever you do, do NOT try to force the lump or swollen area open, or try to 'pop' it or anything like that. You can really damage your eyes if you're not careful. Immediately go see a doctor if you find anything unusual about your vision, or if using hot or cold compresses doesn't work, or if you have redness, inflammation, or if the swelling spreads to the rest of your face.

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I'm a student in Canada. I like learning new things on my own, but don't like to be told how to learn. I also like writing. Interests: fitness, martial arts, writing, photography, games, psychology, alternative education... and more.
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Posted in: Health by on August 4, 2013 @ 12:54 am

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