What to do for itchy swollen eyes from allergies

Inflammation (due to allergy, infection, or injury), infection and trauma can every cause swelling of the eyelids. In come cases swelling of the eyelid may be the only symptom, but in others the eyelid is also likely to be red, itchy, gritty or sore.

Eyelid trauma and black eye

Any direct injury to the eyelid will tend to make it swell and bruise, and the swelling is often extremely much worse the next day. A black eye can be caused by direct injury to the eyelid, but commonly also results from a blow to the nose or forehead. A blow to the nose often results in black eyes on both sides — and cosmetic surgery to the nose or face can own the same result.

By Pavel Ševela (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

The looseness of the eyelid skin means that blood can easily pool in this area after injury — and where blood pools, swelling will follow.

As the black eye heals, the swelling gradually decreases, and the bruise goes through several stages before fading. It can be several weeks after this until the swelling is completely gone. See the separate leaflet called Dealing With Eye Injuries.

Allergic eyelid swelling

Allergies happen when your body reacts to a foreign substance (called an allergen) by producing chemicals which cause swelling, redness and itching. In the eyelid the swelling caused by allergic reaction can be fairly dramatic, since the eyelid tissue is stretchy and also tends to be fairly ‘reactive’ to allergic stimuli.

Eyelids can react in an allergic manner to various triggers, including:

  1. Wash or rinse. Attempt rinsing your eyes with water if swelling is associated with a discharge. Cool water is more soothing for allergies.
  2. Chemicals such as shampoo, make-up, eye drops and contact lens solution.
  3. Try a cool compress. Lie below and put a water-soaked washcloth across your eyes.
  4. Naturally occurring substances such as pollens, pet hair and organic dust.
  5. Antihistamine eye drops for allergies.

    Use antihistamine eye drops — but only if you own allergies. When it comes to steroid drops, Dr. Singh warns not to use them inadvertently and only as prescribed. “Steroid eye drops can work extremely well when you own allergies; however, if it’s used for another condition, it could actually harm and blind you,” she says. “Always, check with your physician first.”

  6. Infectious agents such as viruses and bacteria (which can therefore sometimes cause infection AND allergy at the same time).
  7. Remove contacts.

    If you wear contact lenses, remove them immediately if your eyes or eyelids are swollen.

Allergic eyelid swelling is often therefore fairly dramatic. The eyelids can feel tight and may even be so swollen that you can’t open your eyes. Over time the additional fluid in the eyelids tends to drop downwards through the action of gravity to fill the area of the lower lid below to the top of the cheek, causing large ‘bags’ under the eyes.

Head trauma

A little but significant addition to the information on black eye is that a significant head injury, causing a fracture of the base of the skull, can cause two swollen black eyes, sometimes called ‘raccoon eyes’.See the separate leaflet called Head Injuries.

ByMarion County Sheriff’s Office, via Wikimedia Commons

Ectropion and entropion

An ectropion occurs when part or every of the lower eyelid turns outwards away from the eye.

An entropion occurs where the lower eyelid turns in towards the eye, causing the eyelashes to rub against the front of the eye. The eyelids can occasionally become inflamed and a little swollen, although this is not generally dramatic, and they are not generally red or sore. Read more detail aboutectropion and entropion.

Eyelid sunburn

Sunburn of the eyelids happens easily, particularly if you drop asleep lying in the sun.

The lids will be swollen, red and sore — but you are likely to own facial sunburn too, which will make the diagnosis obvious. Sunglasses assist protect the eyelids against sunburn.

Eyelid irritation

The eyelids can become puffy, swollen and red just because they are irritated by grit, dust or bonfire or cigarette smoke, without a true allergic reaction. Your eyes will generally be red and watery too.

Stye

A stye is a common painful eyelid problem, where a little infection forms at the base of an eyelash, which becomes swollen and red, along with the surrounding edge of the eyelid.

What to do for itchy swollen eyes from allergies

It looks love a pus-filled spot. However, the infection and inflammation often spread back into the lid to make the whole eyelid swollen. It is generally red, as well as swollen, and can sometimes feel slightly sore. Study more about stye infections.

Chalazion

A chalazion causes a lump or localised swelling in the eyelid, although it can cause the whole of the eyelid to swell, particularly if it becomes inflamed or infected.

A chalazion occurs when one of the Meibomian (or tarsal) glands in the eyelid becomes blocked, resulting in a little (2-8 mm) fluid-filled swelling (cyst). A chalazion is more common on the upper eyelid. It is not generally red, itchy or painful. Discover out more about chalazion cysts.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis means inflammation of the eyelids. It makes the eyes and eyelids feel sore and gritty. They are often puffy, pink-red, and a little swollen, particularly along the lid edges. Blepharitis can be a troublesome and recurring condition, sometimes associated with other skin conditions such as rosacea and seborrhoeic dermatitis. Discover out more aboutblepharitis.

By clubtable (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Anatomy of the eye

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Do your eyes glance puffy or swollen?

When fluid builds up in the thin layers of tissue surrounding your eyes, your eyes and eyelids can swell. But when is it cause for concern?

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Typically, eye swelling in your upper or lower eyelid is just an uncomfortable annoyance that will go away on its own within a day.

What to do for itchy swollen eyes from allergies

But if the swelling lasts longer, it’s significant to treat it because some problems can quickly damage your eyes.

“Any swelling that lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours should send you to an eye care professional because there are times it can be something severe that can blind you,” says ophthalmologist Annapurna Singh, MD.

There are several reasons why you might see swelling in your eyes or eyelids. They include:

Allergies – This is a common problem that is also the simplest to treat. These can be due to hay fever or a reaction to foods, chemicals or other irritants.

Conjunctivitis – Also known as pink eye, this infection is common during freezing and flu season. It’s often caused by a virus, bacteria, allergens or other irritants.

Stye – An infection in an eyelash follicle or tear gland, styes appears as tender, red bumps at the edge of your eyelids.

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Chalazion – Similar to a stye, a chalazion is a harmless, little bump that appears on your eyelid.

Blocked oil glands cause chalazia.

Orbital cellulitis – This inflammation, which spreads from your sinuses, occurs more often in children than in adults. It causes redness and painful swelling of your eyelid and the skin surrounding your eyes.

Trauma-related injuries – When blunt force strikes, your eye compresses and retracts, causing blood to collect underneath the damaged area.

This often causes swelling and discoloration.

Graves disease – Also known as thyroid eye disease, Graves disease is an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation of your eye. It relates to a thyroid problem.

Eye cancer – This is rarely the reason for swelling in or around your eyes. However, it is a symptom. Eye cancer, or an eye lymphoma, is also accompanied by blurred vision or loss of vision. You may also see floaters — spots or squiggles — slowly moving in your field of vision.

Most swelling around the eyes goes away within a few days. Here are a few tips to assist reduce swelling in the meantime:

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  • Wash or rinse. Attempt rinsing your eyes with water if swelling is associated with a discharge. Cool water is more soothing for allergies.
  • Try a cool compress. Lie below and put a water-soaked washcloth across your eyes.
  • Allergic reactions caused by, for example, airborne allergens, may inflame the conjunctiva.

  • Carotid artery disease.
  • Lymphoma.
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS).
  • Remove contacts.

    If you wear contact lenses, remove them immediately if your eyes or eyelids are swollen.

  • Antihistamine eye drops for allergies. Use antihistamine eye drops — but only if you own allergies. When it comes to steroid drops, Dr. Singh warns not to use them inadvertently and only as prescribed. “Steroid eye drops can work extremely well when you own allergies; however, if it’s used for another condition, it could actually harm and blind you,” she says.

    What to do for itchy swollen eyes from allergies

    “Always, check with your physician first.”

  • High blood pressure.
  • Redness, itching, swelling, tearing, and stringy discharge are common.

  • Diabetes.
  • Various eye drops may assist decrease symptoms and inflammation.

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, which is the smooth, shiny, translucent membrane that covers the white of the eye (sclera) and the underside of the eyelids. It can be caused by allergies and sensitivities (for example, to products put on to the eye), or by infection.

The main symptoms of conjunctivitis are redness of the eye, and a feeling of grittiness and mild soreness.

As conjunctivitis affects the underside of the eyelids, it can make the eyelids puffy and a little red, either because the infection spreads into the eyelid or because the eyelid becomes inflamed or reacts in an allergic manner due to the infection. See the separate leaflets called Allergic Conjunctivitis and Infective Conjunctivitis.

Long-term eye care

To ensure that your eyes remain healthy, regular eye exams are a excellent thought — whether or not you’ve experienced swelling in your eyes, Dr. Singh says.

“One of the reasons to own regular eye exams is to check for glaucoma, which can slowly damage the optic nerve – and for an early cataract, which clouds the lens in the eye and also affects your vision,” she says.

An eye exam can also reveal signs of systemic diseases, including:

  1. Multiple sclerosis (MS).
  2. High blood pressure.
  3. Carotid artery disease.
  4. Diabetes.
  5. Lymphoma.

If you are under the age of 40, Dr.

Singh recommends seeing an eye doctor every four or five years. After age 40, see your eye doctor every two or three years. Anyone who is age 50 or older should visit their eye doctor once a year, she says

“If you follow these guidelines, your eye doctor can assist to discover conditions that you might otherwise miss,” she says.

Allergic conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva caused by an allergic reaction.

  1. Allergic reactions caused by, for example, airborne allergens, may inflame the conjunctiva.

  2. Redness, itching, swelling, tearing, and stringy discharge are common.

  3. Various eye drops may assist decrease symptoms and inflammation.

The conjunctiva (the membrane that lines the eyelid and covers the white of the eye) contains a large number of cells from the immune system (called mast cells) that release chemical substances (called mediators) in response to a variety of stimuli (such as pollens, mold spores, or dust mites).

These mediators cause inflammation in the eyes, which may be brief or long-lasting. About 20% of people own some degree of allergic conjunctivitis. (See also Overview of Conjunctival and Scleral Disorders.)

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (hay fever conjunctivitis) and year-round or perennial allergic conjunctivitis (atopic conjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis) are the most common types of allergic reaction in the eyes. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is often caused by mold spores or tree, weed, or grass pollens, leading to its typical appearance in the spring and early summer.

Weed pollens are responsible for symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis in the summer and early drop. Perennial allergic conjunctivitis occurs year-round and is most often caused by dust mites or animal dander.

Vernal keratoconjunctivitis

Facial, nose or eyelid surgery

Eyelid surgery, sometimes done to correct entropion or ectropion (see above), or for cosmetic reasons, is an example of intentional injury to the eyelids which causes bruising and swelling. The eyelids can be so swollen after eyelid procedures that you can’t see for several days. See the separate leaflet called Eyelid Surgery.

Eyelid swelling and bruising also tend to result from other surgery to the nose and lower face.

This is because the blood — and the swelling — from these procedures tends to track behind the skin of the face to areas where it can pool easily, and this includes the eyelids. The bruising and swelling can be dramatic and can take several weeks to settle below completely.

Sinusitis

Sinusitis is generally caused by bacterial or viral infection, although it may also be caused by allergy. Sinusitis affecting the sinuses just beneath the eyes can cause puffiness around the eyes, affecting the eyelids.

The eyelids are not generally red, sore or itchy. See the separate leaflet called Sinusitis.

Chemical irritation and burns

Some chemicals can irritate the eyelids, causing them to swell. This can happen with some make-up products and soaps. Numerous people will be familiar with the eyelid irritation and swelling caused by chlorine in swimming pools. Tear gas, sometimes used to dispel crowds, causes swelling and inflammation of the eyelids, although sore and tearful eyes are the main symptoms of exposure.

Some chemicals can cause serious injury to the eyelids, beginning with swelling and pain. The causes include some everyday household chemicals such as oven cleaners, which contain strong alkali and which you might transfer to your eyelids by rubbing your eyes or because you get ‘blow-back’ from a spray device.

If you suspect a chemical injury to your eyelids or eyes you should wash them as thoroughly as you can.

Run 20 litres of water over them directly from the tap, keeping running water on your open eye or eyes for 5-10 minutes, before seeking medical advice. See the separate leaflet called Dealing with Eye Injuries.

Eyelid skin infection

Any infection in the skin of the eyelid will tend to cause marked swelling, with redness, itching and soreness. Infection can also spread to the eyelids from other parts of the face.

Infections of the skin include cellulitis, impetigo and erysipelas, which are diverse types of skin infection affecting diverse levels of the skin.

You are more likely to develop a skin infection if the integrity of your skin is broken for some reason. This might include an insect bite, an injury, or another condition affecting the skin shut to the eye, such as eczema, chickenpox or shingles.

By Afrodriguezg (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

After crying

Most people will own noticed eyelid swelling after crying emotionally, particularly if this is prolonged. This occurs because the eyelids tend to absorb some of the additional tears, leading them to become temporarily swollen.

Fluid retention due to other medical conditions

Fluid can collect throughout the body if you are retaining fluid — a condition called oedema.

Whilst fluid retention is often noticeable in the fingers, around the lips and lower face, around the feet and ankles, and in the lower part of the back, you may notice it first in your eyelids because of the effect this has on your facial appearance.

By Klaus D Peter (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Fluid retention and tissue swelling of this type can happen because of generalised allergic reactions (see below) or because you are retaining fluid due to medication or to a medical condition such as heart failure or pre-eclampsia (a condition related to pregnancy).

Intravenous fluids given as part of medical treatment can sometimes cause facial and eyelid swelling, particularly if you own to be given a lot of fluids quickly (for example, because of dehydration).

This is particularly likely if you are unwell and own been lying flat, so that the additional fluid has tended to collect in the face and eyelids and has not yet dispersed evenly. However, generalised swelling due to medical treatment is more often an allergic reaction than an ‘expected’ reaction of this sort.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock, is a medical emergency. It is an extreme and generalised allergic reaction affecting most of your bodily systems. It can include dramatic eyelid swelling, which can be an early warning sign although it is not the most significant symptom.

Anaphylaxis can cause faintness, breathing difficulties and collapse, and anaphylaxis tends to come on quickly, the full effects sometimes developing over a few minutes and generally within an hour of symptoms beginning. Occasionally, anaphylactic reactions to food can come on more than an hour after eating the food, but this is not the usual pattern. If you own marked eyelid swelling but own no other obvious developing symptoms, you are unlikely to be developing anaphylaxis.

What to do for itchy swollen eyes from allergies

See the separate leaflet called Anaphylaxis.

Angio-oedema (sometimes called angio-neurotic oedema)

This is a skin reaction, generally an allergic one, that tends to cause marked skin swelling, sometimes with itching. Mostly, it affects the eyelids and face — less often, the lining of the windpipe (which can make breathing difficult) and the hands and feet.

By James Heilman, MD, Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Angio-oedema is often allergic. Generally the allergy is to something you own eaten, to medication, to something injected into the skin (usually an insect sting), or to something you own touched such as latex.

It can sometimes be non-allergic, and be triggered by extremes of temperature, or by infections. Rarely, it can be an inherited condition. See the separate leaflet called Angio-oedema.

Signs of a more serious problem

Call your eye doctor correct away if swelling lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours and you notice any of the following:

An Inside Glance at the Eye

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis is inflammation or infection of the conjunctiva, which is the smooth, shiny, translucent membrane that covers the white of the eye (sclera) and the underside of the eyelids.

It can be caused by allergies and sensitivities (for example, to products put on to the eye), or by infection.

The main symptoms of conjunctivitis are redness of the eye, and a feeling of grittiness and mild soreness. As conjunctivitis affects the underside of the eyelids, it can make the eyelids puffy and a little red, either because the infection spreads into the eyelid or because the eyelid becomes inflamed or reacts in an allergic manner due to the infection. See the separate leaflets called Allergic Conjunctivitis and Infective Conjunctivitis.

Long-term eye care

To ensure that your eyes remain healthy, regular eye exams are a excellent thought — whether or not you’ve experienced swelling in your eyes, Dr.

Singh says.

“One of the reasons to own regular eye exams is to check for glaucoma, which can slowly damage the optic nerve – and for an early cataract, which clouds the lens in the eye and also affects your vision,” she says.

An eye exam can also reveal signs of systemic diseases, including:

  1. Multiple sclerosis (MS).
  2. High blood pressure.
  3. Carotid artery disease.
  4. Diabetes.
  5. Lymphoma.

If you are under the age of 40, Dr. Singh recommends seeing an eye doctor every four or five years.

After age 40, see your eye doctor every two or three years. Anyone who is age 50 or older should visit their eye doctor once a year, she says

“If you follow these guidelines, your eye doctor can assist to discover conditions that you might otherwise miss,” she says.

Allergic conjunctivitis is inflammation of the conjunctiva caused by an allergic reaction.

  1. Allergic reactions caused by, for example, airborne allergens, may inflame the conjunctiva.

  2. Redness, itching, swelling, tearing, and stringy discharge are common.

  3. Various eye drops may assist decrease symptoms and inflammation.

The conjunctiva (the membrane that lines the eyelid and covers the white of the eye) contains a large number of cells from the immune system (called mast cells) that release chemical substances (called mediators) in response to a variety of stimuli (such as pollens, mold spores, or dust mites).

These mediators cause inflammation in the eyes, which may be brief or long-lasting. About 20% of people own some degree of allergic conjunctivitis. (See also Overview of Conjunctival and Scleral Disorders.)

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (hay fever conjunctivitis) and year-round or perennial allergic conjunctivitis (atopic conjunctivitis, atopic keratoconjunctivitis) are the most common types of allergic reaction in the eyes. Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis is often caused by mold spores or tree, weed, or grass pollens, leading to its typical appearance in the spring and early summer.

Weed pollens are responsible for symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis in the summer and early drop. Perennial allergic conjunctivitis occurs year-round and is most often caused by dust mites or animal dander.

Vernal keratoconjunctivitis

Facial, nose or eyelid surgery

Eyelid surgery, sometimes done to correct entropion or ectropion (see above), or for cosmetic reasons, is an example of intentional injury to the eyelids which causes bruising and swelling.

What to do for itchy swollen eyes from allergies

The eyelids can be so swollen after eyelid procedures that you can’t see for several days. See the separate leaflet called Eyelid Surgery.

Eyelid swelling and bruising also tend to result from other surgery to the nose and lower face. This is because the blood — and the swelling — from these procedures tends to track behind the skin of the face to areas where it can pool easily, and this includes the eyelids. The bruising and swelling can be dramatic and can take several weeks to settle below completely.

Sinusitis

Sinusitis is generally caused by bacterial or viral infection, although it may also be caused by allergy. Sinusitis affecting the sinuses just beneath the eyes can cause puffiness around the eyes, affecting the eyelids.

The eyelids are not generally red, sore or itchy. See the separate leaflet called Sinusitis.

Chemical irritation and burns

Some chemicals can irritate the eyelids, causing them to swell. This can happen with some make-up products and soaps.

What to do for itchy swollen eyes from allergies

Numerous people will be familiar with the eyelid irritation and swelling caused by chlorine in swimming pools. Tear gas, sometimes used to dispel crowds, causes swelling and inflammation of the eyelids, although sore and tearful eyes are the main symptoms of exposure.

Some chemicals can cause serious injury to the eyelids, beginning with swelling and pain. The causes include some everyday household chemicals such as oven cleaners, which contain strong alkali and which you might transfer to your eyelids by rubbing your eyes or because you get ‘blow-back’ from a spray device.

If you suspect a chemical injury to your eyelids or eyes you should wash them as thoroughly as you can.

Run 20 litres of water over them directly from the tap, keeping running water on your open eye or eyes for 5-10 minutes, before seeking medical advice. See the separate leaflet called Dealing with Eye Injuries.

Eyelid skin infection

Any infection in the skin of the eyelid will tend to cause marked swelling, with redness, itching and soreness. Infection can also spread to the eyelids from other parts of the face.

Infections of the skin include cellulitis, impetigo and erysipelas, which are diverse types of skin infection affecting diverse levels of the skin.

You are more likely to develop a skin infection if the integrity of your skin is broken for some reason. This might include an insect bite, an injury, or another condition affecting the skin shut to the eye, such as eczema, chickenpox or shingles.

By Afrodriguezg (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

After crying

Most people will own noticed eyelid swelling after crying emotionally, particularly if this is prolonged. This occurs because the eyelids tend to absorb some of the additional tears, leading them to become temporarily swollen.

Fluid retention due to other medical conditions

Fluid can collect throughout the body if you are retaining fluid — a condition called oedema.

Whilst fluid retention is often noticeable in the fingers, around the lips and lower face, around the feet and ankles, and in the lower part of the back, you may notice it first in your eyelids because of the effect this has on your facial appearance.

By Klaus D Peter (Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Fluid retention and tissue swelling of this type can happen because of generalised allergic reactions (see below) or because you are retaining fluid due to medication or to a medical condition such as heart failure or pre-eclampsia (a condition related to pregnancy).

Intravenous fluids given as part of medical treatment can sometimes cause facial and eyelid swelling, particularly if you own to be given a lot of fluids quickly (for example, because of dehydration).

This is particularly likely if you are unwell and own been lying flat, so that the additional fluid has tended to collect in the face and eyelids and has not yet dispersed evenly. However, generalised swelling due to medical treatment is more often an allergic reaction than an ‘expected’ reaction of this sort.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock, is a medical emergency. It is an extreme and generalised allergic reaction affecting most of your bodily systems.

It can include dramatic eyelid swelling, which can be an early warning sign although it is not the most significant symptom. Anaphylaxis can cause faintness, breathing difficulties and collapse, and anaphylaxis tends to come on quickly, the full effects sometimes developing over a few minutes and generally within an hour of symptoms beginning. Occasionally, anaphylactic reactions to food can come on more than an hour after eating the food, but this is not the usual pattern.

If you own marked eyelid swelling but own no other obvious developing symptoms, you are unlikely to be developing anaphylaxis. See the separate leaflet called Anaphylaxis.

Angio-oedema (sometimes called angio-neurotic oedema)

This is a skin reaction, generally an allergic one, that tends to cause marked skin swelling, sometimes with itching. Mostly, it affects the eyelids and face — less often, the lining of the windpipe (which can make breathing difficult) and the hands and feet.

By James Heilman, MD, Own work), via Wikimedia Commons

Angio-oedema is often allergic.

Generally the allergy is to something you own eaten, to medication, to something injected into the skin (usually an insect sting), or to something you own touched such as latex. It can sometimes be non-allergic, and be triggered by extremes of temperature, or by infections. Rarely, it can be an inherited condition. See the separate leaflet called Angio-oedema.

Signs of a more serious problem

Call your eye doctor correct away if swelling lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours and you notice any of the following:

An Inside Glance at the Eye


Itchy Eyes: Causes And Cures

By Amy Hellem; reviewed by Gary Heiting, OD

Almost everyone experiences itchy eyes from time to time.

What to do for itchy swollen eyes from allergies

There are numerous causes of itchy eyes, and the problem often is accompanied by itchy eyelids — especially at the base of the eyelashes — and red eyes or swollen eyelids.

The medical term for itchy eyes is ocular pruritus ("proo-RIE-tus").

This article will assist you study more about itchy eyes and how you can get relief. (Spoiler alert: rubbing your eyes won't help.)


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.

  1. Eye irritation, such as an itchy or scratchy sensation
  2. Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  3. Eye discharge
  4. Redness of the eyelid
  5. Eyelid dryness or flaking
  6. Obstructed vision (depending on the extent of the swelling)
  7. Excess tear production, resulting in watering eyes
  8. Red eyes and inflammation of the conjunctiva
  9. Pain, particularly when swollen eyelids are caused by infection

Puffy vs.

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.


Treatments For Itchy Eyes

Symptoms of itchy eyes sometimes can be alleviated with over-the-counter artificial tears or allergy eye drops. But in numerous cases, prescription eye drops or oral medications may be needed to provide relief.

Some medications also may assist you become less prone to attacks of itchy eyes in the future, especially if symptoms are due to seasonal allergies.

Applying a clean, freezing, damp washcloth over your closed eyes also may assist alleviate the severity of itchy eyes.

What are eyelids made of?

Your eyelids are there to protect your eyes and to hold the surface of the eye (particularly the cornea, which is the clear part of the eye over the iris and pupil) from drying out.

Each eyelid consists of thin skin (with some pads of fatty tissue), muscle and a lid-shaped piece of thick fibrous material called the tarsal plate.

These tarsal plates contain Meibomian glands which produce oily material which helps hold the eye and eyelid lubricated. The inside of each eyelid is lined by an inner layer of conjunctiva, a smooth translucent membrane which covers the inner surface of the eyelids and the outer surface of the white of the eye. The conjunctiva then reflects back on to the eye, so there is NO GAP at the edge of your eyelid below which you can lose a contact lens!

Your upper eyelid includes every of the skin from the lid edge up to your eyebrow whilst your lower eyelid ends where the thicker skin of your cheek begins.


Causes Of Itchy Eyes

Most of the time, itchy eyes are caused by some type of allergy.

What to do for itchy swollen eyes from allergies

An irritating substance (called an allergen) — such as pollen, dust and animal dander — causes the release of compounds called histamines in the tissues around the eyes, which results in itching, redness and swelling.

Rubbing won't assist your itchy eyes. In fact, it can make things worse.

Eye allergies come in lots of shapes and sizes and can be seasonal or perennial.

Seasonal allergies cause what's known as allergic conjunctivitis.

It's most common in the spring and drop and is caused by high pollen counts and exposure to outdoor allergens love grass and weeds.

Perennial allergies, on the other hand, are present every year endless and are caused by things love mold and dust.

In some cases, a product you're using can cause allergy-related itchy eyes. For example, some people develop allergies to their contact lens solutions. Other products with ingredients that may cause your eyes to itch include: artificial tears used to treat dry eyes; makeup; and lotions, creams and soaps.

But allergies aren't the only cause of itchy eyes. If (in addition to itching) your eyes are burning, the cause may be dry eye syndrome or meibomian gland dysfunction, not allergies.

Similarly, if your eyelids are red and inflamed, you may own a condition called blepharitis, which is caused by bacteria and in some cases by microscopic mites that live on the eyelids.

If you wear contact lenses, itchy eyes can make lens wear extremely uncomfortable.

Sometimes, if you are wearing your contacts too endless or don't replace them frequently enough, this too can cause itchy eyes.

Because the causes for itchy eyes are so varied, if your symptoms are lasting, getting worse, or don't subside when allergy season winds below, make an appointment with your eye doctor.

NEED AN EYE EXAM? Discover an eye doctor near you and make an appointment.


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

Conditions


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)

allergies

.

Swelling of the eyelids can be a sign of a more serious, potentially sight-threatening health problem, such as

orbital cellulitis

,

Graves' disease

and

ocular herpes

.

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.


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