Allergy swollen eye treatment: Allergic conjunctivitis Information | Mount Sinai

What to Do and When to See a Doctor

Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors

  • Remedies and Treatments for a Swollen Eyelid
  • When to See a Doctor
  • Remedies for Children
  • Emergency Care

The eyelid is a complex, fully functioning skin tissue that consists of eyelashes, tear glands (lacrimal), sweat glands (glands of Zeis or Moll), and sebaceous (oil or meibomian) glands. These tissues can develop inflammatory reactions, leading to a swollen eyelid.

A swollen eyelid is usually a symptom, not a condition. It’s very common and is usually due to allergy, inflammation, infection, or injury. The skin of your eyelid is less than 1 millimeter thick. But, since the tissue is loose and stretchy, your eyelid is capable of swelling considerably. 

A swollen eyelid is sometimes a symptom of a medical condition, such as:

  • Allergies
  • Clogged oil glands in your eyelid (called a chalazion)
  • Eyelid infection (called a stye)
  • Infection around your eye socket (called orbital cellulitis)
  • Inflamed eyelids (called blepharitis)
  • Pink eye (called conjunctivitis)
  • Shingles
  • Thyroid conditions such as Graves’ disease

Depending on the cause, you may experience swelling in one or both eyelids. Most of these conditions are not serious, but you should make sure to clean and care for your eyes if your eyelid is swollen.

The treatment for a swollen eyelid depends on the cause. If you have an eye infection, you may need to use antibiotic eye drops, ointment, or other topical medication — meaning a medication to be applied on the body — to help remove the infection and ease your symptoms. Your doctor may give you antibiotics or steroids to take orally if the topical treatment is ineffective. 

To relieve eyelid swelling and keep your eyes clear and healthy, try these home remedies for swollen eyelids:

Apply a Compress

Run a clean cloth under warm water and hold it gently on your eyes. Do this twice a day for 15 minutes at a time to help loosen crusty discharge and get rid of any oil that might be plugging your glands.

Gently Wash the Area

After using a compress, use a cotton swab or washcloth to gently clean your eyelids with diluted baby shampoo. Make sure to rinse your eye area well afterward. You can also use a saline solution to rinse the area if you have any discharge or crust around your eye or in your eyelashes. 

Leave Your Eyes Alone

While you have symptoms, don’t wear eye makeup or contact lenses. Get plenty of sleep and avoid direct sunlight so your eyes can rest.

Use Eye Drops

Use over-the-counter artificial tears to keep your eyes moist and comfortable. Antihistamine drops can help with allergies and may help if your eyelid is swollen due to allergens. 

Eyelid swelling usually goes away on its own within a day or so. If it doesn’t get better in 24 to 48 hours, you should call your primary care physician or see your eye doctor. Your doctor will ask about your symptoms and examine your eye and eyelid. Your doctor will ask questions about other symptoms or changes that may be causing your eyelid or eyelids to swell. These could include contact with allergens or irritants, infections, or other health conditions.  

Children frequently experience eye irritation, typically from touching their eyes with unwashed hands. But there are several possible causes for eyelid swelling in children in addition to the causes listed above. These include:

  • Rubbing the eye: Children often rub their eyes for various reasons but especially after getting an irritant in their eye.
  • Insect bite near the eye: The loose tissues around the eye swell easily, which can happen as a reaction to a mosquito or other insect bite. 
  • Contact dermatitis near the eye: Contact with poison ivy, detergents, or other irritants may affect the eyelid.

To treat your child, try these home remedies:

Cold Pack

Apply ice or a cold pack wrapped in a clean, wet washcloth to the eye for 15 to 20 minutes at a time to decrease eyelid swelling and pain.

Allergy Medicine

You can safely give your child an allergy medicine or antihistamine by mouth. This will help to decrease eyelid swelling and itching. Benadryl every 6 hours or so is best. 

Eye Drops

For eyelid swelling that interferes with your child’s vision, use a long-lasting vasoconstrictor eye drop (such as a tetrahydrozoline, like Visine). No prescription is needed. The recommended dose is one drop every eight to 12 hours as needed for one to two days. 

You should seek emergency medical care or call your doctor right away if you or your child experience:

  • Drooping of the eyelid
  • Fever that won’t break
  • Light sensitivity, seeing flashing lights or wavy lines
  • Loss of vision or double vision
  • Severe redness, inflammation, and a hot feeling
  • Severe swelling (the eye is shut or almost shut)

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Causes and Treatments of Styes on Eyelids

Written by WebMD Editorial Contributors

  • What Causes Styes?
  • What’s a Chalazion?

It’s a pimple or abscess that forms on your upper or lower eyelid.  

Sometimes the bacteria that normally live on the surface of your eyelid block an oil duct. Then it gets inflamed. Other times, germs and dead skin cells get trapped on the edge of your eyelid.

Most of the time a stye starts as a pimple next to an eyelash. It turns into a red, painful bump that can last several days before it bursts and then heals. Some styes are short-lived and heal on their own. Others may require a doctor’s care.

Styes are usually on the surface of your eyelid and easy to see. But they can form deep inside your eyelid. An internal stye (on the underside of your lid) also causes a red, painful bump. But its location prevents a whitehead from showing up on your eyelid. This type can also go away once the infection is gone. Some leave a small fluid-filled cyst that your doctor will have to cut open and drain.

Usually it’s a combination of a clogged oil gland and a certain type of bacteria. Your body is coated with billions of friendly bacteria that live right along with you. Most of the time there’s no problem. But when conditions are right, the bacteria overproduce and create a pimple.

If the clogged gland that produces the stye never gets better, scar tissue forms around it. The pain goes away but a bump remains. Doctors call that a chronic chalazion (pronounced cha-LAY-zee-yon).

Styes and chalazia (that’s the plural of chalazion) are usually harmless. They rarely affect your eyeball or eyesight. Rarely they can cause severe infections of the face called cellulitis. See your eye doctor for any significant pain or drastic swelling/redness of the whole eyelid. They can happen at any age and tend to come back from time to time, especially in people who have ongoing eyelid irritation (blepharitis) or a skin condition called rosacea.

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Eye edema – causes of the disease, which doctor treats, diagnosis, prevention and treatment


Eye edema is a condition in which the tissues around the eye swell and become swollen. Edema of the eyes may be unilateral or bilateral and may vary in severity. It is often accompanied by a feeling of tension, discomfort, or even pain in the eye area. The causes of eye swelling can be various, including allergic reactions, infections, trauma, inflammation, or systemic diseases.

Eye swelling is dangerous

Eye swelling is not usually dangerous in itself, but in some cases it may indicate a serious problem or require medical attention. Some of the possible eye swelling problems include:

  1. Allergic reaction: Swelling of the eyes may be caused by an allergy to various substances such as dust, pollen, foods or drugs. In some cases, allergic swelling of the eyes may be associated with anaphylactic shock, which requires immediate medical attention.

  2. Infection: Swelling of the eyes may result from an infection such as conjunctivitis (inflammation of the eye), keratitis (inflammation of the cornea), or orbital cellulitis (inflammation of the tissue around the eye). More serious complications may develop and require medical evaluation and treatment.

  3. Injury: Injury to the eye or around the eye may cause swelling. It can be caused by a blow, bruise, wound, or surgery. If swelling of the eye is accompanied by severe pain, blurred vision, or other serious symptoms, urgent medical attention is required.

  4. Diseases: Some systemic diseases such as kidney disease, heart failure, allergic angioedema, or thyroid disease can cause eye swelling. In such cases, diagnosis and treatment of the underlying disease is required.

Physiological causes of eye swelling

Physiological causes of eye swelling may be related to normal physiological processes or everyday factors. Here are some examples:

  1. Fatigue and lack of sleep: Lack of rest and fatigue can lead to swelling of the eyes. This is usually associated with fluid retention in the tissues around the eyes.

  2. Salinity in food: When you eat a lot of salty food, the body can retain more water, which can lead to swelling of the eyes.

  3. Periods: Some women may experience swelling of the eyes before periods due to changes in hormone levels.

  4. Weather and climate: Extreme temperatures, high humidity or dry air can cause eye swelling.

  5. Eye strain: Excessive computer use, reading, or other visual work can cause eye muscle tension and swelling.

  6. Alcohol use: Drinking alcohol may cause temporary swelling of the eyes due to dehydration and fluid retention in the body.

Pathological causes of eye edema

Pathological causes of eye swelling can be associated with various diseases or medical conditions. Some of the most common pathological causes of eye swelling include:

  1. Allergic conjunctivitis: This is an inflammatory condition caused by an allergic reaction to pollen, dust, food or other allergens. Eye swelling is one of the typical symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.

  2. Keratitis: Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea that can cause eye swelling, tenderness, and vision changes. Keratitis can be caused by infection, trauma, or other factors.

  3. Orbital cellulitis: This is an infectious inflammatory disease that affects the tissues around the eye socket. Orbital cellulitis can cause eye swelling, pain, limited eye movement, and other symptoms.

  4. Ocular Injury: A blow, bruise, wound or other injury to the eye or around the eye can cause swelling of the eye. This may be due to damage to the tissues and vessels around the eye.

  5. Thyroid Inflammation: Some thyroid conditions, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, can cause swelling of the eyes, often referred to as “bulging eyes” or “goiter”.

  6. Ocular migraine: Some people with migraine may experience eye swelling during or before a migraine.

Associated symptoms

Associated symptoms of eye swelling may vary depending on the cause of the swelling and other associated conditions. Some of the possible symptoms that may accompany swelling of the eyes include:

  1. Redness: The skin around the eyes may be red and irritated.

  2. Soreness: Swelling of the eye may be accompanied by pain or discomfort.

  3. Itching: Some people may experience itching around the swollen eyes.

  4. Discharge: There may be discharge from the eye such as tears or pus.

  5. Changes in vision: Swelling of the eye can cause temporary or permanent changes in vision, such as blurring or poor focus.

  6. Restriction of eye movement: In the case of infection or other diseases, swelling of the eye may be accompanied by restriction of eye movement or pain when moving the eyeball.

  7. Enlargement or protrusion of the eye: In some cases, swelling of the eye can lead to an increase in size or protrusion of the eye, which is called exophthalmos.

  8. General symptoms: Depending on the cause of the swelling of the eye, general symptoms such as fever, fatigue, general weakness or weight changes may be present.

What are the scenarios

The scenarios for eye swelling symptoms may vary depending on the underlying cause of the swelling and associated conditions. Here are a few options:

  1. Self-improvement: In the case of physiological causes such as fatigue, lack of sleep, or eating salty foods, swelling of the eye may improve on its own without special treatment. In the absence of other symptoms and chronic problems, swelling of the eye may resolve with adequate rest or lifestyle changes.

  2. Treatment of the underlying disease: If the swelling of the eye is caused by pathological causes such as allergies, infections or other diseases, treatment will be directed to the underlying disease. For example, allergic conjunctivitis may require antihistamines, and infections may require antibiotics.

  3. Medical procedures: In cases where swelling of the eye is caused by certain medical conditions, such as orbital cellulitis or thyroid disease, medical procedures or surgery may be required to treat the underlying condition.

  4. Long-term treatment: In some cases, especially in chronic conditions, swelling of the eye may be prolonged or intermittent. This may require long-term treatment, supportive care, or lifestyle changes to control symptoms.

What diseases cause eye swelling

Eye swelling can be associated with various diseases or conditions. Some of the more common conditions that cause swelling of the eye include:

  1. Allergic conjunctivitis: This is an inflammatory condition caused by an allergic reaction to pollen, dust, food or other allergens. Swelling of the eye is one of the typical symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis.

  2. Infectious conjunctivitis: This is an inflammation of the conjunctiva (the clear membrane covering the white of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelids) caused by a bacterial or viral infection. Swelling of the eye can be one of the symptoms of infectious conjunctivitis.

  3. Keratitis: Keratitis is an inflammation of the cornea, the transparent front part of the eye. Swelling of the eye can be one of the symptoms of keratitis, which can be caused by infection, trauma, or other factors.

  4. Orbital cellulitis: This is an infectious inflammatory disease that affects the tissues around the eye socket. Swelling of the eye is one of the typical symptoms of orbital cellulitis.

  5. Thyroid disorders: Some thyroid disorders, such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, can lead to swelling of the eye. This may manifest as bulging eyeballs or “bulging eyes”.

  6. Ocular migraine: Some people with migraine may experience symptoms, including swelling of the eye, during or before a migraine attack.

  7. Injury or damage to the eye: A blow, bruise, wound or other injury to the eye or around the eye can cause swelling of the eye.

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Experience 10 years




What Tests to Get

You may need to see a doctor to determine the cause of the swelling in your eye and prescribe the most effective treatment. The following are some tests and procedures that may be recommended for eye swelling:

  1. Physical Exam: Your doctor will do an eye exam to assess the degree of swelling, check the visibility and function of the eye, and rule out other underlying problems.

  2. Allergy Tests: If an allergic reaction is suspected, your doctor may order allergy tests to look for allergens that cause eye swelling.

  3. CBC: A CBC can help identify inflammation or infection that may be associated with swelling of the eye.

  4. Blood chemistry: A blood chemistry test can help evaluate kidney and liver function, which may be associated with eye swelling.

  5. Immunological tests: If an immunological disorder is suspected, the doctor may recommend immunological tests to check for autoimmune antibodies or other immunological disorders.

  6. Ocular Ultrasound: Ultrasound of the eye may be used to evaluate the structure and function of the eye and to detect the presence of tumors or other abnormalities.

  7. Computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): If there is a suspicion of a tumor, infection, or other conditions in the eye area, the doctor may order a CT or MRI to show more detailed images of the orbital structures and surrounding tissues.


Relief of eye swelling may depend on its cause. Here are some methods that can help relieve eye swelling:

  1. Applying cold compresses: Applying a cold compress to closed eyes can help constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling. You can use a cold eye patch, a lozenge towel, or an ice bag wrapped in a soft cloth. But remember not to apply ice directly to the skin to avoid frostbite.

  2. Rest and Elevation of the Head: If the eyes are swollen, it may be helpful to rest and elevate the head to reduce the flow of fluid from the tissues of the eyes.

  3. Eye Care: Proper eye care can help reduce swelling and inflammation. Use gentle cleansers, avoid rubbing or stretching the skin, and apply moisturizers regularly.

  4. Trigger avoidance: If you are allergic or sensitive to certain substances, avoid contact with them to prevent an allergic reaction and swelling of the eyes.

  5. Medications: In case of allergic eye swelling, antihistamines or eye ointments recommended by a physician may be helpful.

Where to see a doctor

In case of swelling of the eyes, it is recommended to consult an ophthalmologist (doctor who specializes in diseases of the eye). The ophthalmologist will examine the eye, identify the cause of the swelling, and determine the most appropriate treatment. In some cases, consultation with other specialists, such as an allergist, immunologist, or general practitioner, may be necessary, especially if the swelling of the eye is associated with allergic reactions or systemic diseases.

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Swelling under the eyes: causes.

What remedies for swelling under the eyes to use.

From Marilyn Haddrill; reviewed by Charles Slonim, MD

Puffy eyes and under-eye dark circles occur for many reasons, including hereditary facial features, allergies, stress, eye fatigue, and individual skin characteristics such as texture.

While some home remedies, such as cucumber slices, can temporarily relieve puffy eyes, a longer-term solution requires finding out the underlying cause.

What causes puffy eyes?

The usual swelling around the eyes indicates an excess of accumulated fluid in the surrounding skin tissues. Because the skin around the eyes is the thinnest, swelling and discoloration can be quite noticeable.

But what is the reason for the accumulation of fluid that causes swelling of the eyes?

Puffy eyes are usually due to various factors, including:

  1. Excessive salt intake, which causes fluid retention

  2. Allergies, which can cause inflammation and swelling

  3. 900 04 Sinus problems

  4. Dehydration

  5. Fatigue and lack of sleep

  6. Stress

  7. Sobbing

  8. Aging

  9. Hereditary features of the face

Although the last reason does not seem convincing, many people do have swollen eyes due to heredity.

With age, puffy eyes can be partly caused by the fact that the fatty tissue that normally protects the eye inside the bony orbit begins to move forward and fill the space under the eye.

This is because the aging process causes thinning of the membrane or “septum” that normally holds fat in both the upper and lower eyelids. As the membrane thins, the fat bulges forward. It is then that bags or bulges begin to form under the eyes.

What causes swollen eyes in the morning?

When we sleep, we don’t blink. And this is one of the reasons why swelling of the eyes develops.

Dark circles can appear under the eyes as a result of stress or lack of sleep.

Blinking is for the eyelids like walking is for the legs. With no movement, some people develop swelling in the lower extremities, which resolves as soon as they start walking, and the leg muscles begin to “pull” the accumulated fluid (edema), releasing it back into the bloodstream.

The same thing happens with the eyelids. Closed eyelids that do not blink during sleep can swell in some people who have a tendency to this. Therefore, in the morning you can wake up with very swollen and swollen eyelids. After you open your eyes and start blinking, some of the swelling will subside in about an hour.

Are swollen eyes a sign of disease?

When this happens unexpectedly, swelling of the eyes sometimes indicates the presence of an illness.

For example, people with thyroid problems may develop swelling of the tissues and muscles around the eyes. In addition, bulging eyes can be a symptom of a thyroid disorder known as Graves’ disease.

Eye allergies associated with conditions such as hay fever can also cause eye swelling. Other types of allergies, such as reactions to certain foods or chemicals, can cause eyelid swelling.

During an allergic reaction, some cells in the body release a chemical called histamine, which has many adverse effects on body tissues, including leakage of fluid from blood vessels. These fluids linger in the surrounding tissues, causing swelling.

Swollen, swollen eyelids and dark circles under the eyes may occur with eye infections eg conjunctivitis In this case, swelling of the eyes is caused by inflammation associated with an eye infection that directly affects the eyelids. In addition, general swelling and puffiness can cause dry eyes.

Systemic diseases, including kidney failure, also lead to generalized swelling throughout the body, including around the eyes.

What are some treatments for puffy eyes?

To find the best solution for puffy eyes and dark circles, it is important to identify the root cause.

If your mother or father has swollen eyes, you may have inherited this trait from them. In such a case, cosmetic surgery may be considered to reduce the swelling.

Puffy eyes due to aging are also likely to require cosmetic surgery.

You may want to discuss with your optometrist or plastic surgeon some of the options available for eyelid problems. These options include chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing, certain prescription skin treatments, and an eyelid surgery known as blepharoplasty.

Blepharoplasty removes excess fat and skin from the upper and lower eyelids and tightens the skin and muscles to reduce puffiness and wrinkles.

The following may temporarily help reduce swelling around the eyes:

  • Use eye drops for allergy-related irritation, if applicable

  • Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated

  • 90 011

    Cold compresses for swollen eyelids

  • Apply cucumber slices or chilled tea bags to closed eyes

  • Use creams and other products specially formulated for application to the skin around the eyes

  • 900 04 Reduce the amount of salt in the diet

  • Eat foods rich in potassium, such as bananas, to eliminate excess fluid in the body

  • Splash cold water on the face and eyes

  • Sleep and rest as much as possible

Creams and ointments used to reduce puffy eyelids often contain phenylephrine, a drug that constricts blood vessels.