What allergies cause swollen eyelids
In rare cases, an allergy can lead to a severe allergic reaction, called anaphylaxis or anaphylactic shock, which can be life threatening.
This affects the whole body and usually develops within minutes of exposure to something you’re allergic to.
Signs of anaphylaxis include any of the symptoms above, as well as:
Anaphylaxis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.
Read more about anaphylaxis for information about what to do if it occurs.
Sheet final reviewed: 22 November 2018
Next review due: 22 November 2021
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A swollen eyelid is more than just a cosmetic annoyance. It can be terrifying, particularly if the swelling is severe enough to interfere with a person's ability to see.
Most causes of swollen eyelids are harmless, but seemingly minor problems can be fairly serious. So, if a person has swollen eyelids, it is a excellent thought for them to seek care from an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
If someone has experienced swollen eyelids before, it is probably safe for them to treat the condition at home for a few days.
Main allergy symptoms
Common symptoms of an allergic reaction include:
- a raised, itchy, red rash (hives)
- wheezing, chest tightness, shortness of breath and a cough
- itchy, red, watering eyes (conjunctivitis)
- sneezing and an itchy, runny or blocked nose (allergic rhinitis)
- swollen lips, tongue, eyes or face
- tummy pain, feeling ill, vomiting or diarrhoea
- dry, red and cracked skin
The symptoms vary depending on what you’re allergic to and how you come into contact with it.
For example, you may have a runny nose if exposed to pollen, develop a rash if you own a skin allergy, or feel sick if you eat something you’re allergic to.
See your GP if you or your kid might own had an allergic reaction to something. They can assist determine whether the symptoms are caused by an allergy or another condition.
Read more about diagnosing allergies.
A stye (hordeolum) is an infection of a gland in the eyelid. The most common type of stye infects the tear glands that are at the base of the eyelashes.
Styes also sometimes happen inside the eyelid due to infected oil glands.
Styes generally start as red, itchy, painful, swollen lumps. Over the course of a few hours or a few days, they start to resemble a pimple. Some own a white head.
In most cases, the infection only affects a single tear or oil gland and requires no treatment. Warm compresses can assist with the pain.
People should avoid eye products, including makeup and eye creams until the stye disappears. They should also never attempt to pop the stye as this can spread the infection and damage the eye.
Antibiotics may assist in the following situations:
- the symptoms worsen
- the stye is extremely painful
- several styes appear at once
- a fever develops
- vision is impaired
If a person experiences any of these symptoms with a stye, they should contact an eye doctor.
Causes of swollen eyes
There are numerous causes of swollen eyelids — ranging from mild to potentially sight-threatening conditions.
Allergies: Eye allergies happen when your immune system overreacts to a foreign substance, called an allergen.
Pollen, dust, pet dander, certain eye drops and contact lens solutions are some of the most common eye allergens. An allergic reaction to makeup also is a known culprit of swollen eyes.
Eye allergies develop when your eyes release chemical "mediators" to protect your eyes from allergens to which you are sensitive.
The most common is histamine, which causes blood vessels in your eyes to dilate and swell, mucous membranes to itch and your eye to become red and watery.
Conjunctivitis: Also called "pink eye
Symptoms of an allergic reaction usually develop within a few minutes of being exposed to something you’re allergic to, although occasionally they can develop gradually over a few hours.
Although allergic reactions can be a nuisance and hamper your normal activities, most are mild.
Very occasionally, a severe reaction called anaphylaxis can occur.
A chalazion looks love a stye, but it is not an infection.
Instead, a chalazion occurs when an oil gland in the eyelid gets clogged.
People who own had one chalazion tend to get more, and the bumps can grow fairly large. However, chalazia rarely hurt. They typically express on their own after several days, much love a pimple.
Warm compresses can assist a chalazion clear more quickly.
When chalazia grow extremely large, they can interfere with vision and may become painful.
It can also be hard to tell the difference between a chalazion, a stye, or an eye infection.
If the bump does not go away after a few days or there are other signs of an infection, such as a fever, a person should contact an eye doctor.
Symptoms of swollen eyes
Swelling of the eyelids is a symptom of an underlying cause, such as allergy or infection. Swollen eyes generally are accompanied by one or more of the following:
A swollen eyelid may be a symptom of allergies or a sign of a serious eye infection.
- Red eyes and inflammation of the conjunctiva
- Obstructed vision (depending on the extent of the swelling)
- Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
- Eye irritation, such as an itchy or scratchy sensation
- Excess tear production, resulting in watering eyes
- Redness of the eyelid
- Eyelid dryness or flaking
- Eye discharge
- Pain, particularly when swollen eyelids are caused by infection
swollen eyes. The term "puffy eyes" often is interchangeable with "swollen eyes." Swollen eyes is generally used to describe an immune response to allergy, infection or injury, whereas "puffy eyes" is more likely used to refer to the external physical characteristic of swollen eyes from water retention, lack of sleep, or genetic traits love dark circles under the eyes.
How to avoid swollen eyelids
By Aimee Rodrigues; reviewed by Gary Heiting, OD
A swollen eyelid occurs when there is inflammation or excess fluid (edema) in the connective tissues surrounding the eye.
Swollen eyes may or may not be painful, and the condition can affect both the upper and lower eyelids.
There are numerous causes of a swollen eye, including eye infections, eye injuries or trauma, and (most commonly)
Swelling of the eyelids can be a sign of a more serious, potentially sight-threatening health problem, such as
It's significant that you visit your eye doctor for a thorough eye exam if your symptoms persist, worsen or change.
FIND A DOCTOR: If you own just moved or it's been a while since your final exam, find an eye doctor near you.