Swollen Eyelids: Causes and Treatments
Many things can cause swollen eyelids, and although the problem might not be life threatening, it’s temporarily disfiguring, uncomfortable and distressing.
If the eyelid is itchy and red, and also swollen, you may have an allergy to cosmetics or a cleansing product which has resulted in contact dermatitis. If you’ve recently changed one of your skin products, this may be the problem. Rinse off the product with warm water, and wait for the reaction to die down. In future, opt for natural facial care products. Naturally Mediterranean Revitalising Eye Cream contains no potentially harmful or allergy-causing chemicals, so the risk of allergic reaction should be reduced.
Redness around the eyelashes might indicate blepharitis. This happens when the oil glands at the base of the eyelashes are blocked, and bacteria breeds. While blepharitis won’t actually damage the eyes, it’s uncomfortable and unsightly. A stye may form due to blepharitis. Normally, this will clear up after a few days, but if it doesn’t burst, it may be necessary to consult a doctor to get it lanced.
Bathe the eyelids regularly with a warm, damp cloth. If the problem recurs or persists, you may require an antibiotic. Don’t touch the eyes with dirty hands, since this can transfer and spread bacteria and exacerbate the problem.
If the eye is red and watery and it looks like you’ve had a night of binge drinking, yet you haven’t touched a drop, you might have conjunctivitis or ‘pink eye.’ This could result from an allergic reaction, or a bacterial or viral infection. It will require antibiotics and/ or ointment to treat this, and it is often very painful. The doctor may decide to prescribe eye drops to reduce swelling.
Conjunctivitis is contagious, so be certain to use a different towel and face cloth from the rest of the family, then put them right into the laundry, so nobody else is likely to use them. Conjunctivitis may be infectious for up to two weeks, and there is no treatment for viral conjunctivitis – it needs to run its course, although eye drops can allay the symptoms.
With most eye conditions, gently bathing the affected area with tepid water might produce some relief, and it will certainly keep the eye area clean. It’s better not to use over the counter remedies on your eyes, as they might actually cause more problems than they solve. Wear dark glasses to allow the eyes to rest and recover, and also to protect them from infection, weather conditions and foreign bodies while the condition persists. Natural skin care products can also help to reduce the risk of eye problems, as these products contain no chemicals or possible allergens. If problems with the swelling around the eyelids are persistent, consult your doctor.
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