The swollen eyelid can be a symptom of multiple ailments that do not have to affect the visual system directly. The eyelid is a susceptible area, and it can quickly accumulate substances inside that end up causing damage. The most common causes of an inflamed eyelid are styes, conjunctivitis, and the herpes virus or mumps. Many of these causes are contagious, so special care must be taken in eye hygiene and treating the problem of origin. In this FastlyHealarticle, we inform you about the possible causes of an inflamed eyelid.
The different causes
The reason for the inflamed eyelid can be found in different causes with different origins. In some cases, it will be essential to go to the doctor since it can pose a real risk to the eye’s health. For example, an eyelid inflammation due to traumatic causes has a greater chance of damaging the vision than that derived from an allergic cause. It is essential to observe other symptoms that could bring us a little closer to the reason that causes inflammation in the eyelid. In addition, we must go to the doctor if the swelling and pain do not subside in a few days.
There are a variety of infections that can cause inflammation of the eyelid.
- Conjunctivitis. It is the inflammation of the membrane that covers the inner wall of the eyelid by a virus or bacteria. The eyes are often red and are accompanied by itching and swelling of the eyelids. Treatment will vary depending on whether the infection is bacterial or viral. However, it does not pose a health risk, and the inflammation of the eyelid disappears when conjunctivitis subsides.
- Herpes virus . This virus can cause eye infections and usually appears when the immune system is weaker than usual, for example, in those states in which it suffers from stress. It is a contagious infection due to herpes zoster, which is contracted together with chickenpox and remains in the body without presenting any symptoms until it manifests itself in outbreaks. It is accompanied by inflammation of the eyelid, pain, irritation, and redness of the eyes.
- Blepharitis. Inflammation of the eyelids due to excess oil from the glands near the eyelid. People with seborrheic dermatitis are at increased risk of blepharitis. The eyelids become irritated and red; flakes appear on the eyelashes, there is a burning sensation on the eyelids, and a scab forms along with the inflammation of the eyelids.
- Orbital cellulitis. It is an infection produced around the eye, affecting the eyelids, eyebrows, and cheeks. It is one of the most severe infections, usually from sinusitis, and can worsen quickly, causing blindness. The symptoms accompanying orbital cellulitis are inflammation of the eyelids, pain, fever, and bulging eyes.
- Mumps . A highly contagious disease that affects the salivary glands by a virus. This infection can cause inflammation in other places, such as the eyelids.
- Stye. It appears as a lump on the eyelid that generates inflammation as a cause of the blockage of the sebaceous glands responsible for lubricating the skin. They have a pimple-like appearance and are very painful, as well as causing tearing of the eye and sensitivity to light.
An allergic reaction can also cause a swollen eyelid.
- Pollen, mites, and animals. Many people trigger a series of symptoms due to an allergic reaction. Among the symptoms are swollen eyelids, watery eyes, mucus, and irritation.
- Medications . In the same way as the previous one, certain medications can cause allergies to some of their substances, resulting in swelling, anger, etc.
- Insect bite . Allergy to some insects causes symptoms that can pose a high risk to a person’s life, obstructing the airways and other less severe symptoms such as inflammation of the eyelids.
- Other allergies . Contact with certain substances can lead to allergic reactions with different symptoms, including inflammation of the eyelids.
The inflamed eyelid does not always have to respond to external factors derived from a virus or bacteria or from substances that cause allergies. Several conditions can directly damage the eyelid causing inflammation.
- Foreign object . The involuntary presence of things in the eye is widespread since small particles move with the wind and come into contact with the mucosa of the eye and remain inside. These objects can cause damage to the eye if we scratch or try to remove the thing incorrectly since the eye and the membrane inside the eye are compassionate, and a wound can result in which the eyelid becomes inflamed.
- Injury to the eye. Sometimes, we can receive a blow or bump into something that causes swelling, bruises, or wounds in the eye, whereby the eyelid is damaged.
- Burns . The eyelid is a fragile and sensitive membrane, so it can quickly burn from contact with the sun, causing inflammation and redness.
- Surgery . When the eye is subjected to surgical intervention, it is widespread to react through inflammation, remitting after a few days.
Other causes of a swollen eyelid
- Kidney disorders . Alterations in the kidneys, such as nephrotic syndrome, cause changes in protein levels, causing swelling in the eyes.
- Graves disease . It is an autoimmune disorder that causes alterations in the thyroid gland, whereby the defenses destroy healthy tissue. One of the symptoms that causes this disorder is irritation and tearing of the eyes and inflammation of the eyelids.
- Retention of liquids . Some conditions, such as pregnancy, involve retaining fluids, and, as a consequence, inflammation can occur in some parts of the body.
When to go to the doctor?
Good eye health means going to the ophthalmologist every so often for a routine checkup. The eye is compassionate and can be easily damaged, so it is best to go to a specialist to treat the problem and avoid further damage if any damage is detected. In some cases, the damage can lead to blindness, although it is rare, so we must also take children for a checkup since they are prone to eye infections.
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.
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I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.