Whether you suffered from a blow to your eyes or you're reacting to an allergen, you should be concerned if your eyelids are inflamed.
Eyelid inflammation occurs when fluid collects in the tissues around your eyes, and it is accompanied by itching or pains.
Although most eyelid inflammation causes are harmless, it is good for you to seek medical attention from your physician.
Types of eyelid inflammation
Anterior eyelid inflammation
Anterior eyelid inflammation occurs outside the eyes. This is when dandruff on your eyebrow and other allergens affect the region where your eyelashes are located.
Posterior eyelid inflammation
This is when the inner edge of your eyelids closest to your eye swells as a result of a malfunctioning oil gland behind your eyelash follicles.
Causes of eyelid inflammation
If you are suffering from eyelid inflammation, these are the likely causes:
When dust, pollen, makeup, and skincare products get into the eyes, they can irritate your eyes, thereby triggering an allergic reaction. This reaction can create itchy, swollen, red bags around your eyes.
2. Conjunctivitis (Pinkeye)
This occurs when the eye's conjunctiva becomes inflamed. The conjunctiva is the clear thin tissue that lines your eyelid and eyeball. Conjunctivitis can leave you with pink or red eyeballs accompanied by pain, itching, and swollen eyelids.
When a gland in your eyelid gets infected, you may suffer from a swollen eyelid. Styes infect your tear glands at the base of your eyelashes, and they also infect your oil gland inside the eyelid.
Crying can rupture the blood vessels in your eyes and eyelids. Your eyes will appear puffy and swollen, especially if you've been crying for long.
If you have insomnia or probably stayed up late working through the night, the exhaustion and fatigue you may feel afterward can make your eyelids inflamed in the morning.
6. Eyelid trauma
If you engage in any contact sports, a direct blow to the eyelid can lead to an injury that may cause bruises and swelling. A blow to the eye, nose, or forehead can give you black eyes in both eyes.
7. Head trauma
A major head injury that causes the skull base to fracture can cause a person to have two swollen eyes.
Anaphylaxis is considered a medical emergency that occurs when there is an extreme and generalized allergic reaction affecting most people's bodily systems. Although not the most acute symptom, eyelid swelling can be an early warning sign of anaphylaxis.
9. Orbital cellulitis
A tiny cut is what is needed to introduce enough bacteria to trigger orbital cellulitis. This infection goes deep into the tissue of the eyelid. It is a severe infection that spreads quickly and is most times painful. Cellulitis requires antibiotic treatment.
Sinusitis can affect the sinuses beneath the eyes, thereby causing swelling around the eyes. Bacterial or viral infections can cause sinusitis, and it rarely causes the eyelids to be red, sore, or itchy.
11. Grave's disease
If you have an aggravated form of hyperthyroidism, your eyeballs might appear protruded with puffy eyes.
12. Kidney problem
If your kidney is unable to retain the body's protein, there is a build-up of fluid in the body, leading to swelling all over the body, including the face and eyelids.
This skin reaction is sometimes referred to as Angio-neurotic oedema. It mostly affects the eyelids and face due to allergic reactions. These reactions can result from the food you've eaten, medication you've taken, or an insect sting.
14. Eyelid sunburn
After a good sunbath, without your shades on, your eyelids could get swollen, red, and sore. The sun can leave your eyes inflamed when you don't protect them with sun shades.
15. Liver or heart problem
Water retention can occur when one has severe liver or heart problems. This can cause an inflamed eye.
Symptoms of eyelid inflammation
Symptoms of eyelid inflammation may include the following:
• Inflamed eyelids with a burning sensation in the eyes.
• Red eyes
• Watery eyes
• Itchy eyelids
• Swollen eyelids
• Sneezing and running nose
• Sensitivity to light
Symptoms of eyelid inflammation indicating life-threatening conditions
Some signs of eyelid inflammation can be an early signal for life-threatening diseases. These symptoms might include:
• Acute loss of sight
• High fever
• General swelling
• Stiff neck
• Severe headache
• Swollen tongue
• Difficulty breathing
• Itching in the throat or mouth
Treatment of eyelid inflammation
Treatment of eyelid inflammation depends on the cause. Seek professional advice before taking any action. Below are the remedies which a health professional may recommend.
1. Wash your eyes and apply a warm compress on your swollen eyelids. This can reduce inflammation.
2. Your doctor may recommend eye drops or ointment to reduce inflammation and stop irritation caused by dry eyes.
3. Your doctor may also prescribe antibiotics to treat eyelid infections.
4. Keep your head elevated and your face looking upward.
5. Stay away from contact lenses until the swelling goes away.
Prevention of eyelid inflammation
Sadly, eyelid inflammation can't always be prevented, but you can do the following to reduce the risk of swelling.
• Clean and wash all makeup from your face before retiring to bed.
• Avoid touching your eyes with dirty hands.
• Resist the urge to rub your itching eyes as this can spread an existing infection.
• Visit your doctor immediately you notice pain, redness, or swelling of your eyelids.
Potential complications of eyelid inflammation
Failure to seek medical attention when experiencing swollen eyelids can result in complications and permanent damage. Depending on the underlying cause, eyelid inflammation can be progressive.
Some potential complications you can avert when you visit the doctor are:
1. Loss of your eyesight.
2. Spread of infections to other parts of your body.
Eyelid inflammation shouldn't be overlooked. Your eyes help you carry out your daily activities with ease and do not ignore even the slightest symptoms.