Swollen eye causes

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

External attacks can attack both the right and left eyeballs. Whatever the affected eye, the reasons revolve around allergies, styes, Blepharitis, conjunctivitis, insect bite, etc. If you wonder what to do if you have one eye swollen and the other not, you should know that this will depend on the cause behind said inflammation in each case.

If you want to know more about this topic, we invite you to continue reading this FastlyHealarticle in which we answer the question: “why do I have one eye swollen and the other not?”.

The eyelid is swollen from the style.

A common cause of inflammation of a single eyelid is style. This is a common condition and refers to a bump on the edge of the upper or lower eyelid due to blockage of the oil glands in the eye, leading to the accumulation of bacteria and causing what is known as a staph infection.

The presence of a stye is widely related to poor hygiene, especially when we touch our eyes with dirty hands or do not remove makeup before going to sleep. Styes can grow inward or outward as a pimple and manifest with symptoms such as:

  1. Inflammation in the eye.
  2. Pain.
  3. Redness on the eyelid.
  4. Lacrimation in the eye.
  5. Legañas on the eyelids.
  6. Increased sensitivity.

Fortunately, its treatment is simple and consists of applying local heat using a handkerchief or compress for 5-15 minutes 3 times a day until it has disappeared. This, in addition to unclogging the gland, helps soothe pain and inflammation. Lastly, avoid squeezing the style to avoid complications.

An article published by Dermatological Therapeutic Updates indicates that 90 to 95% of the styles cases are due to a golden staph infection. It can also present as a secondary complication of blepharitis 1.

In the following article, we explain the causes of styles and the most effective remedies to cure them.


Although conjunctivitis, a disease that affects both eyes, often comes to mind, sometimes the infection likely occurs in the conjunctiva of only one eye. The conjunctiva is the transparent lining of the eye.

It causes, in addition to swelling or inflammation in the affected eye, symptoms such as:

  1. Red-eye.
  2. Yellowish discharge
  3. Eye tearing
  4. Photophobia or sensitivity to light.
  5. Swelling in the eyelid

There are three types of conjunctivitis according to their associated symptoms:

  • Bacterial conjunctivitis this being the one that commonly manifests with swelling in one eye at the beginning of the condition.
  • Conjunctivitis viral.
  • Allergic conjunctivitis.

Medical treatment usually includes:

  • Ophthalmic anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • COLOR.
  • Ophthalmic ointments that contain antibiotics.

Stings or trauma

Another common cause of one eye is swollen and the other not being is an insect bite or direct trauma to the surrounding areas of the eyelid. This is usually common in children and high-impact athletes, such as athletes and soccer players.

Fortunately, in this case, it is usually treated with local ice to reduce inflammation and itching in case it is from an insect bite.

In addition, it is essential to be vigilant for other symptoms or signs of an allergic or anaphylactic reaction, such as respiratory distress, which warrant immediate specialized treatment.

Swollen eyelid from Blepharitis

The eyelid has sebaceous glands responsible for lubricating this area with their oily liquid. Blepharitis occurs when some of these glands are also blocked and is common in people who tend to rub their eyes as usual.

In addition to showing the swollen eyelid of the eye, there is a frequent increase in eyesores, pain in the eyelid, flaky skin, loss of eyelashes, and the sensation of a foreign body in the eye.

Unfortunately, Blepharitis is a chronic condition where only its symptoms can be controlled.

Apart from being related to the obstruction of the sebaceous gland, Blepharitis can be associated with a bacterial infection, dry eye syndrome, and the presence of acne rosacea.

It is ideal to relieve the discomfort with Blepharitis to place a warm compress on the swollen eye for at least 15 minutes; in addition, the doctor may indicate moisturizing eye drops.

You can learn more about this condition in the article Blepharitis: causes, symptoms, and treatment.

I have one eye that was swollen and the other not: other causes.

Other causes that can cause inflammation in one eye are:

Eye swelled with dirt.

The eye also tends to become inflamed or swollen after contact with any residue, dust, or other irritating substance. This leads the person to scratch intensely for relief, and consequently, there are:

  • Pain.
  • Burning in the eye
  • Itch.
  • Swelling.

This is usually common in polluted and smoky environments.

In this case, the doctor usually indicates eye drops to refresh the sight, eyewash with a physiological solution, and avoid continuous scratching so that the irritation does not advance.

Cellulitis periorbitaria or preseptal

Sometimes a swollen eye may be evident in the presence of a severe bacterial infection of the eyelid and areas around the eye. This is known as periorbital or preseptal cellulitis.

The affected area explicitly includes the orbital septum on the anterior aspect.

Orbital cellulitis

On the other hand, orbital cellulitis is defined as the bacterial infection of the surrounding soft tissues of the eye. Although it is rare, it is serious for those who have it.

In addition to the swollen eye, symptoms such as:

  • Pain in the eye
  • Bulging eyes.
  • Fever.
  • Blurred or reduced vision
  • Sensitivity to light.

Being a delicate area, the ideal treatment for orbital cellulitis is based on antibiotics, preferably under medical supervision, so it is advisable to go immediately to the specialist when this condition is suspected.

Allergic reaction

Any allergic process can be accompanied by symptoms such as:

  1. Sneezing
  2. Skin itch.
  3. Stuffy nose.
  4. It can be accompanied by one eye or both swollen.

In this case, the doctor can determine the cause of the allergy and indicate treatment that generally includes antiallergics or antihistamines such as cetirizine, loratadine, and steroids hydrocortisone.


This condition, initially, usually manifests itself as a style and then turns into a compact cyst due to a blocked meibomian gland.

A chalazion usually manifests with swelling in the eye, tenderness, and pain.

Ocular herpes

The herpes simplex virus is the cause of ocular herpes, which can range from mild to severe and is known as eyesores. May cause:

  • Inflammation in the eye.
  • Pain in the eyelid.
  • Ulcers.
  • Blurry vision.

Swollen eye: predisposing factors

On the other hand, a swollen eye may occur if there are some predisposing factors such as:

  • Tiredness, fatigue, and anxiety: a common denominator in the enlargement of the eyes. These factors are interrelated and associated with lifestyle (overwork, stress, and lack of sleep).
  • Circulation problems: circulatory problems can also be reflected in the increase in volume in one or both eyes, in which the typical bags usually appear.
  • Age: the passing of the years brings the weakness of muscles and tissues, the eyes being an area that is commonly affected.
  • Excess salt and, consequently, fluid retention.
  • Crying.
  • Sinus problems.

Some diseases that manifest with puffy eyes are:

  1. Crohn’s disease.
  2. Liver disease.
  3. Renal disease.
  4. Graves disease.

Other symptoms associated with puffy eyes

Inflammation of the eye can be accompanied by other symptoms such as:

  • Photophobia or sensitivity to light.
  • Watery eye or increased tearing.
  • Stinging or itching sensation.
  • Redness of the eyelid.
  • Red-eye.
  • Blurry vision.
  • Increase of legañas.
  • Pain in the eye

What to do if I have a swollen eye?

Treating a swollen eye will depend directly on the cause to be treated and the respective medical evaluation. Generally speaking, treatment for a swollen eye may include:

  1. Physical rest
  2. Physical exercise.
  3. Yoga or some relaxing activity.
  4. Drops for irritation.
  5. Cold compresses the affected eye.
  6. Cold tea bags on the swollen eye.
  7. Place cold cucumber slices on the swollen eye.
  8. Reduce the amount of salt in the daily diet.

Although the reason related to the inflammation of the eye is the product of a mild condition, an ophthalmological evaluation is essential to follow the necessary treatment according to the cause.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to I have a swollen eye and the other not: why is it? We recommend that you enter our Eyes and Vision category .

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