Adult Health

5 Reasons for Your Swollen Eyelid

Written by andy

It may be simpler than you think!

The human eye is actually a surprisingly delicate mechanism. If you don’t take care of it (feed it, protect it, etc.), it will deteriorate. A staggering number of people develop vision problems, but that’s not the only thing that can affect your eyes. Puffy eyes can be a big problem for those who don’t get enough sleep.

But what if your eyes aren’t just a little puffy, but they’re actually SWOLLEN? What’s causing the issue and how can you deal with it? Here are a few reasons for your swollen eyelid problems:

  • Conjunctivitis — Conjunctivitis, also known as “pink eye”, is an inflammation that sets into your conjunctiva, the clear lining that protects the surface of your eye. Bacteria and viruses can both be responsible for the infection, as can allergies. The infection can range from mild to fairly serious, so it’s vital you get it treated as soon as possible. You’ll know it’s conjunctivitis if the eyelid isn’t just swollen, but it’s itchy, red, and watery. It’s similar to the way your eyes react to allergies, but with the added annoyance of a persistent itch that refuses to go away.
  • Injury — This is a pretty simple one. If you sustain damage to your eye (from a punch, an insect bite, a cut, etc.), your eyelid is likely to swell up. This is meant to protect your eye and the eyelid itself from further damage, but it can slow down the healing process. If your eyelid is swollen as a result of an injury, get yourself checked out by a doctor. You want to be 100% sure the injury didn’t cause serious damage to the eyeball itself.

READ MORE: Why Are My Feet Swollen? Answered.

  • Allergies –– Allergy season can be a tough time of year for some people. With so much dust, pollen, pet dander, grass, and other allergens in the air, it can lead to allergic reactions. Your body produces histamines, a chemical “mediator” that is intended to protect your eyes from those allergens in the air. But the histamines can cause a negative reaction of their own: dilation of the blood vessels, leading to swelling and excessive itching of the mucus membranes around your eyes. This may cause your eyes to water and turn red.
  • Chalazion –– You may have never heard this term before, and that’s LUCKY! A chalazion may look like and feel like a typical stye (swollen bumps on the eyelid), but it’s actually caused by a blocked Meibomian gland–the glands around your eyelid that produce meibum, which prevents your tears from evaporating. A chalazion can turn into a hard cyst, and it will usually occur away from the edge of your eyelid. They will cause swelling of your eye, and your eyelid will be very tender. This is another one that could become serious and affect your vision, so it’s vital that you get it treated ASAP.
  • Stye –– A stye can be a fairly minor problem, for the most part, but it can become serious if you’re not careful. Basically, a stye is a swollen, red-colored bump that forms along the edges of your eyelid. They’re caused by swelling resulting from bacterial infections in your eyes, usually an infection of the gland that produces meibum. If the gland gets blocked, there is a certain amount of swelling. The stye will cause inflammation of your eye, along with a degree of tenderness.

Get your eyes checked out as soon as possible, or you could end up with long term problems!

About the author


Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.

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