Swelling of the eyelids appears to be a quite common symptom many people complain about. Naturally, it gets them worried but most people do nothing and wait for the swelling to go down on its own. A few may apply a warm cloth over the swelling, other take an over-the-counter antihistamine like Benadryl or Claritin but those more anxious may start picking and squeezing and even aggravate the condition.
You may be surprised to hear that there are over 70 causes of swollen eyelids. Some quite common, others quite rare. In order to avoid any complications, you should see a doctor and abstain from self-diagnosis and especially picking or applying any over-the-counter or so-called home-made treatments.
Depending on the severity of the onset of eyelid swelling, you may decide to consult some of the following medical professionals. You will not make a mistake by choosing a general practitioner, emergency physician, ophthalmologist or dermatologist.
You should remember that diagnosis is dependable on the additional symptoms. Paying attention to additional symptoms will significantly narrow the options. If you do notice any additional symptoms, do not hold them back. It is essential you reported them to the specialist you had previously chosen to visit. This action will lead to an accurate diagnosis and successful treatment.
A doctor will probably want to know some additional things such as duration and severity of the eyelid swelling (to figure out if acute or chronic), a brief family and your own medical history (to see if any inherited disorders may be to blame), if you had taken any medication, if you had any allergic or adverse reactions before, if you had a cold or a runny nose recently (to see if it could be viral), if you had redness or some kind of eye discharge (to see if it could be bacterial) to get a better picture.
Possible causes of eyelid swelling are:
1. Allergic reactions.
Swelling of the eyelids could be caused by hair spray, nail polish, make-up allergy, chemical allergy, animal and plant allergy. Animal allergies are most commonly caused by the household pets.
2. Blepharitis and chronic blepharitis.
Blepharitis is an annoying reoccurring condition that causes inflammation of the eyelids. There are underlying conditions that provoke blepharitis. They are acne rosacea, dry eyes, scalp dandruff, and different infections such as staphylococcus bacteria. Symptoms indicating possible blepharitis include burning in the eye feeling, foreign body feeling, excessive tearing and itching of the eye.
Conjunctivitis is a contagious infection of the eye. The infection could be viral or bacterial in origin but also triggered by an allergy, environmental irritants, contact lenses and eye - drops and ointments. It usually causes swelling, itching, burning, and redness of the eye protective membrane. Conjunctivitis easily spreads from one person to another.
Styes are enflamed sebaceous glands located near the base of the eyelashes. Most commonly caused by staphylococcus bacteria, they remind of pimples. It is important not to squeeze or pierce them so that bacteria wouldn’t spread over the entire eyelid. Washing hands is essential when applying any type of treatment on the stye because dirty hands will spread the infection.
Chalazion is caused by oil glands blockage. In return, swelling of the upper or lower eyelid occurs. Additional symptoms that may appear are redness, pain, itchiness and lumpiness of the eyelid. Your doc may suggest you to wait or apply hot compress, receiving corticosteroid injection or even a surgery depending on severity.
In general, swelling of the eyelids can be justified by the type of activity conducted the previous day: you have been drinking heavily before going to bed, you eat salty foods, you spent the day working in your garden head down or you slept very late at night. Most of the time, the swelling resolves in a few hours, as fluids are reabsorbed into the body.
Puffy eyes may also be an allergic reaction – you ate strawberries or you have slept on feather pillows. Hormonal changes during menstruation can also cause the problem.
The sagging skin, part of the normal aging process, can also cause swelling almost permanent. The skin around the eyes becomes thinner and loses its elasticity with age, says he. The underlying fat causes swelling to the eye. Bags under the eyes, instead of swelling may signal a thyroid condition known as Graves’ disease or indicate the presence of kidney disease.
Perhaps you prefer to hide the swelling of the eyes under your sunglasses in the morning, but rest assured, there are other ways to alleviate the problem.
Splash your face: Flush the face with cold water stimulates blood circulation.
Relieve yourself: To tap gently with upper and lower eyelids to remove accumulated liquids in the eye. Fingertips only, lightly tap the swollen areas of your upper and lower eyelids.
Hide the problem: Refrigerate one eye mask coating of jelly, and then apply it on your closed eyes for a few minutes upon awakening. Try also with tea bags. Moisten with cold water 2 tea bags and place them over your eyes closed for 15 minutes. The tannin content in tea helps firm skin and reduces swelling. Freshness is the key element that helps reduce swelling.
Use a diuretic: If you do water retention before your period, some OTC products can help decrease the swelling.
Take an antihistamine: If your eyes are red and puffy and they are itching, maybe you suffer from an allergic reaction. In such cases, the antihistamine would help reduce the swelling.
Concealer to the rescue: To hide the swelling of the upper lid, apply a darker shade of foundation, since the brow to the crease. Then apply a lighter shade on the eyelid itself, the fold lashes. The swelling is less noticeable when stresses the lower eyelid. In the case of bags under the eyes, apply a slightly darker than your foundation usual.
Here’s how you can prevent swelling:
Elevate the head of your bed. The wood blocks from 12 to 15 cm, placed under the headboard to elevate it, will prevent liquids from pooling in the eye.
Do not drink before going to bed. Or drink a few sips of liquid.
Eliminate foods high in salt.
Forget the wrinkle. An eye cream designed to eliminate wrinkles may be too effective. This product may have the undesirable effect of accentuating the bags under the eyes, creating swelling.
Change your makeup. The makeup water based and frosts are lighter than oil-based and appear to be less irritating to the delicate eye skin.
Forget the feathers. If you think you are allergic to feathers, and you wake up every morning puffy eyes, get duvets and pillows made of synthetic fibers.
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