Swelling of the eyes, or eyelids, is a very common symptom among many people. Believe it or not there are over 70 causes of why ones eye swells. Some of the causes are rare, but most of them are due to allergies, Conjunctivitis and Blepharitis. There are many different ways to treat the swelling of your eyelids, but it’s very important that you know what is causing the swelling in the first place. If your experiencing any swelling of the eyelids and don’t know the cause you can visit one or more of the following medical professionals to determine the cause; a general practitioner, emergency physician, ophthalmologist or dermatologist will be able to pinpoint the reason behind the swelling.
Causes Of Swollen And Puffy Eyes
- Conjunctivitis or pink eye is a common cause of eye swelling. Conjunctivitis is referred to the inflammation caused to the conjunctiva of the eye and is associated with constant irritation and redness of the affected eye. Conjunctivitis gained the name ‘pink eye’ because in this condition, the white portion of the eye turns red or pink, due to the inflammation of the blood vessels. Patients suffering from conjunctivitis suffer from constant irritation, pain and become sensitive to bright light.
- Allergic reactions can also be the cause for swelling of the eye. If you are allergic to seasonal pollen, you can also experience swelling in your eyes. Pollen can cause irritation to the eyes, making them dry and itchy. The condition normally leads to incessant rubbing of the eyes. Though pollen allergies can be treated with some over-the-counter allergy medications, if the allergy causes excessive problems, seeing a doctor is advisable.
- Insect bite is another common cause of eye swelling. Insects do not bite or sting the eyeball, but they sting the eyelid or the skin surrounding the eye. This bite can cause irritation in the surrounding area, which if scratched, will lead to swelling. The swelling can be treated with bug-bite medicines, unless you have severe allergic reaction.
- Sinusitis can also cause eye swelling, because the sinus cavities are located all around your eyes. When the sinuses around the eyes get infected, they swell up putting pressure on your eyes. You can treat sinusitis with antibiotics, but adhere only to only those antibiotics that are prescribed by your doctor.
- Rare, but one of the possible causes of eye swelling is any contact with the irritants from the poison ivy plant. Poison ivy irritants can lead to severe swelling. In such cases, calamine lotion and products similar to these can be used to treat rashes caused due to poison ivy.
- Any injury or trauma to the eyes can also cause bruises around the eyes and eye swelling in turn.
- Your hectic lifestyle can also lead to eye swelling. With the amount of stress you undergo in day to day life, along with inadequate sleep, you can experience puffy and swollen eyes. A change in lifestyle with improved sleeping habits might reduce this type of eye swelling.
- Regular use of contact lenses without properly cleaning of the lenses can also be a possible cause for swelling in eyes. You will have to extremely careful while using a lens. It should be worn and removed carefully and always cleaned before and after use.
- Exposure to foreign particles can also cause swelling in the eyes. Wear shades while you step out of the car or home. This would restrict any foreign particle from entering as your sunglasses would as a protective shield.
Treatment of Swollen Eyes
For eye infections, there are over the counter medications that can help alleviate swelling but visiting a doctor will help fix the problem. If you’re suffering from allergies, you can either alleviate your swollen eyes by using oral antihistamines and decongestants, as well as eye drops that contain antihistamines and decongestants. If you’re not suffering from allergies, you can apply either a warm washcloth over your eyes for a period of time, or a cold ice pack over your eyes for a period of time. Both ways reduce the swelling. Keeping your head elevated will also reduce the swelling around your eyes.
Try not to lie down or keep your head in a position where blood can flow to it quicker. If bacteria is causing the swelling around your eyes, you can receive antibiotics to eliminate the infection as well as the swelling. Another option you can do is to splash cool water on your face and in your eyes. This can remove any particles that could be irritating your eyes. Also, avoid rubbing your eyes the best you can, this will only cause the swelling to worsen, even to the point of temporary blindness. For eye swelling that is persistent and will not go away, seek medical help from a medical professional.
Preventing Swollen Eyes
The number one thing you can do to prevent further swollenness, is to not rub your eyes and to seek medical attention if your situation is severe. Your doctor can provide you with medicine that will reduce the swelling almost immediately or can determine if there are more serious problems causing the swelling. If you suffer from allergies, try to take precautions while indoors, such as keeping air filters and air ducts clean, as well as vacuuming often to remove dust and dander. Outdoor precautions can include wearing face masks, especially if doing yard work or spending time outside during the spring and fall seasons. Also, you can ask your doctor to prescribe you antihistamine and decongestant medication to minimize the effects of allergy season.