A swollen eyelid can be a sign of various conditions, such as allergies, infections, injuries, or inflammation. Depending on the cause, the swelling may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as redness, itching, pain, discharge, or blurred vision. A swollen eyelid can affect your appearance and comfort, so you may want to know how to treat it quickly and effectively. Here are some of the best ways to heal a swollen eyelid:
- Identify and avoid the trigger
If your swollen eyelid is caused by an allergic reaction, you should try to identify and avoid the trigger that caused it. Common allergens that can affect the eyes include pollen, dust, pet dander, cosmetics, eye drops, or contact lenses. If you know what you are allergic to, you should avoid exposure to it as much as possible. You should also wash your hands and face frequently to remove any traces of allergens from your skin.
- Apply a cold compress
A cold compress can help reduce the swelling and inflammation of your eyelid by constricting the blood vessels and slowing down the fluid accumulation. You can use a clean cloth soaked in cold water, a chilled tea bag, or an ice pack wrapped in a towel. Apply the cold compress to your closed eyelid for 10 minutes twice a day. Do not apply ice directly to your skin, as it can cause frostbite and damage your tissues.
- Use antihistamine eye drops or oral medication
Antihistamines are drugs that block the action of histamine, a chemical that is released by your immune system when you have an allergic reaction. Histamine causes itching, swelling, and inflammation in your eyes and other parts of your body. Antihistamines can help relieve these symptoms and make you feel more comfortable. You can use over-the-counter antihistamine eye drops or oral medication four times a day until the swelling is gone. Some examples of antihistamine eye drops are Visine-A or Zaditor, while some examples of oral antihistamines are Benadryl or Claritin However, be aware that some people may be allergic to certain ingredients in these products, so always read the label carefully and follow the instructions.
- Remove contact lenses
If you wear contact lenses, you should remove them as soon as you notice any swelling in your eyelid. Contact lenses can irritate your eyes and trap allergens or bacteria on your cornea, which can worsen your condition. You should also clean your contact lenses thoroughly with a solution recommended by your eye doctor or discard them if they are disposable. You should wear glasses instead until your swelling subsides.
- See an eye doctor
If your swollen eyelid does not improve after two or three days of home treatment, or if it gets worse or causes other symptoms such as fever, vision loss, or excessive pain, you should see an eye doctor as soon as possible. Your swollen eyelid may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as an infection (e.g., blepharitis or stye), an injury (e.g., black eye or corneal abrasion), or an inflammation (e.g., chalazion or orbital cellulitis). Your eye doctor will be able to diagnose the cause of your swelling and prescribe the appropriate treatment, which may include antibiotics, steroids, or surgery34.
A swollen eyelid can be a bothersome and uncomfortable problem, but it can usually be treated quickly and effectively with some simple home remedies. However, if your swelling persists or worsens, you should seek medical attention to rule out any serious underlying causes. By following these tips, you can heal your swollen eyelid and restore your eye health and appearance.