What to use for a swollen eye: Inflammation, Infections, Causes, & Treatment

Swollen Eyes | Best Optometrist in Toronto

Swollen eyes are a common symptom that can be related to a variety causes, anywhere from allergies to ocular trauma. In many cases, the swelling is short term and will resolve itself within 24 hours. Swelling can also be reduced by applying a compress, but the course of treatment will also depend on the cause.


Swelling can occur from fluid retention within the eyelid, due to fatigue, or due to strain on the eye such as computer use or crying. In these cases, swelling should resolve itself within 24 to 48 hours. If swelling presents alongside pain, the cause may be an infection, cyst, or stye. See an eye doctor to diagnose this swelling, since treatment options depend on its cause.


A stye or chalazion could cause your upper or lower lid to swell, and usually presents in the middle portion of the lid. For relief, you may need to place a warm compress over your eye four to five times a day, as this can help with oil secretion and blockage. If this does not resolve, then it can turn into an infection. This minor infection at the base of the eyelid near the eyelashes is known as hordeolum. A hordeolum can be internal or external, and often presents as a well-defined red bump. Like a chalazion, the hordeolum may persist for a few weeks and can be treated with warm compresses but will need medications as well. Avoid wearing makeup when you have a stye, as this can increase irritation and cause reinfection.


Swollen eyes can also be caused by bacterial, viral (pink eye), or allergic conjunctivitis. This causes inflammation on the surface of your eye and can be present in one or both eyes. Often, swollen eyes due to conjunctivitis are accompanied by sticky discharge on the eyelashes and in the corners of the eye. Avoid using contact lenses and cosmetics if you suspect you have pink eye, as not only can this further irritate the eye, but the infection can spread and infect these items if they come into contact. Clean sticky eyelids with warm water, avoid touching eyes, and keep pillowcases clean. If symptoms persist, see your optometrist as you may need a prescription or further treatment.


Skin infection (cellulitis) around the eye can also cause your eyes to swell. In this case, the skin around the eyes will swell, becoming red and painful. Antibiotics will be necessary to relieve the eye swelling. If you are experiencing eye swelling alongside a high temperature, nausea, dizziness, shaking, confusion, vision changes, or an inability to move the eye, you should seek emergency treatment.


In many cases, if you are experiencing a swollen eye, you can take steps to remedy it at home. Rinse your eyes with a saline solution, place a compress (such as a wet washcloth) over your eyes, remove contacts, and elevate your head overnight to reduce fluid retention. If you find these remedies are not reducing your eye swelling, then seek help from an optometrist for an examination.


If your swollen eye is accompanied by pain in the eye, blurry or distorted vision, worsening vision, floaters in your vision, a feeling that something is stuck inside your eye, or the inability to move your eye muscle, you should seek medical attention immediately.


If you are experiencing swollen eyes, book an appointment with your eye care provider. Your optometrist is best suited to properly diagnose swollen eyes and recommend the best course of treatment.


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How To Help Swollen Eyelids

Your eyes and the tissue surrounding them are delicate, and any inflammation, puffiness, or swelling of the area can look and feel quite dramatic. If your eyelid is swollen, you may be able to relieve discomfort at home, but in some cases, a visit to your eye doctor may provide full relief.

If you’re in intense pain or experiencing vision loss or changes in your vision, treat this as an eye care emergency and seek medical help promptly.

But if you or your child are experiencing discomfort related to eyelid swelling, a warm moist compress at home or a visit to the eye doctor might be in order.

What Causes a Swollen Eyelid?

Anytime you’re experiencing discomfort related to your eyes, it’s important to treat not just the symptom—in this case, the swelling—but also the underlying cause. You should be seen by your Optometrist to diagnose your swollen eye and have a treatment plan for you. Once your doctor has identified the cause of your swollen eyelid, you can make a plan to reduce swelling with treatment.

If you’re seeing a bump along the edge of your eyelid, it might be a stye or a chalazion. Redness and inflammation all along one or both eyelids could signify blepharitis. If the white part of your eye is reddish and you notice discharge, it could be a sign of conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye. If you are experiencing itchiness, redness and swelling on the lids, it could be an indication of allergies.

Other common causes of eyelid swelling include:

  • Mosquito bites or other insect bites or stings
  • Blunt force trauma to the face
  • Contact dermatitis (skin irritation due to a chemical)

Less common, but potentially serious, causes of eyelid swelling can include:

  • Orbital cellulitis, a skin infection around your eye that is typically related to a bacterial sinus infection
  • Shingles, which can cause severe problems if it affects your eyes
  • Graves’ disease, a thyroid condition that can cause eye problems

What Causes Swelling?

The tissue of your eyelids is one of the thinnest anywhere on the body. Because there’s no fat in your eyelids, swelling can look very substantial.

In some cases, swelling happens because your body sends extra white blood cells to the area to fight infection or protect an injured area. This is an important part of the healing process.

If you’re experiencing an eye care emergency (meaning you’re in severe pain, you have any vision loss or vision changes, or photosensitivity),then it si best you visit your optometrist. 

But if the discomfort lasts more than a few days or is interfering with your life or vision, please contact us right away for an appointment. 

Here’s an overview of what you can do at home and how we can help relieve your eyelid swelling.

Styes or Chalazia

A stye is a small, painful red bump on the eyelid caused by a blocked oil gland, while a chalazion is a hard but painless lump on the eyelid that can result from a stye that doesn’t resolve. 

Do not squeeze or try to pop a stye or chalazion. This can cause the infection to spread.

At home, apply a warm, moist compress to your eyes for about 10 minutes several times a day, and gently massage the area. Dry heat is better than wet heat. A heating pad or a special eyelid compress works best. . 

If the stye doesn’t start to get better in a couple of days or tenderness improves but the bump is still present, call your eye doctor for an appointment. We use intense pulsed light (IPL) therapy to treat styes and chalazia without the need to cut and drain the swollen bump. Instead, we apply targeted light energy to the area, which addresses the inflammation at the source of the swelling.


Antihistamine eye drops or oral medications can relieve allergic reactions that manifest as swollen eyelids. You may also find relief from a cold compress on your eyes a few times a day.

Often, allergy eye drops are meant to be used for just a few days at a time, not as a way to address chronic inflammation. Some types of eye drops and some allergy medication can cause your eyes to feel drier, which may worsen your discomfort.

If your eyelids are constantly inflamed or your eyes often feel dry, we encourage you to book a comprehensive dry eye exam. We can uncover the causes of your symptoms and develop a personalized treatment plan.


Blepharitis can cause your eyelids to be swollen, red, itchy, and crusty. Blepharitis can also raise the risk of developing styes and chalazia.

If your eye doctor diagnoses you with blepharitis, they may give you an at-home eyelid hygiene routine that involves cleaning your lids daily with a gentle cleanser. Your doctor may also recommend particular eye drops to relieve discomfort or prescribe medicated drops to fight infection or relieve inflammation.

For our patients with blepharitis, we may suggest BlephEx, which is an exfoliation of the eyelash area, and/or LipiFlow, which breaks up blockages in the glands that line the eyelids.

Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)

Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is common among children, but anybody can experience it. Conjunctivitis might be caused by:

  • Bacteria (such as from contaminated makeup or dirty hands)
  • Viruses (including the common cold and coronavirus)
  • Allergens
  • Chemical exposure

Effective treatment and symptom relief will depend on the type of conjunctivitis a patient has. 

A cool wet cloth on the affected eye can offer relief. But if the conjunctivitis is caused by a bacteria or virus, it can be very infectious, so be sure the cloth is not shared with anyone else.

See your eye doctor if you suspect you or your child have conjunctivitis, and we can provide treatment to relieve symptoms and, for bacterial cases, prescribe antibiotics.

Eye Trauma

It’s not always possible to know the extent of an eye injury just by looking at it. Even a seemingly minor injury may have caused underlying damage, so we strongly encourage an appointment with your eye doctor in the case of any trauma to the eye, especially if it has caused swelling.

If you actively have something stuck in your eye, or you feel like something is lodged in your eye, please do not apply pressure to the area, and see your eye doctor for an assessment.

In the meantime, you can relieve pain and swelling by applying a cold compress to the swollen area and by taking an anti-inflammatory drug such as ibuprofen.

Contact Dermatitis

If the skin around your eyes comes into contact with an irritating chemical, you may experience red, itchy, or burning patches of contact dermatitis.

In mild cases, you may be able to address the discomfort by washing the area, applying a cold compress, rubbing a gentle moisturizer into the area (but not in your eyes), and taking an antihistamine if you’re experiencing itching.

If the affected area is painful, spreading, or oozing, please make an appointment with your eye doctor immediately.

Bug Bites or Stings on the Eyelid

A mosquito bite on the arm or leg is annoying enough—on the sensitive skin of your eyelid, it can be maddening and become surprisingly swollen. The good news is that mosquito bites typically only itch for 3 or 4 days, and swelling is generally gone within 7 days.

You may be able to relieve the itching by applying a cold compress and anti-itch cream on the area, avoiding contact with your eyes. 

Bug bites can occasionally become infected. If the bite is red, warm, or has a red streak spreading from it, or if you have a high fever or other signs of illness, see your family doctor.

When to See Your Optometrist for a Swollen Eyelid

When it comes to swollen eyelids, we don’t want you to tough it out. If your symptoms are uncomfortable, affect your vision, or don’t start to get better within a couple of days, we strongly encourage you to book an appointment with one of our doctors at See & Be Seen Eyecare in Midtown or Liberty Village.

Eye drops – salvation from burning and dryness in the eyes

Table of contents


Treatment of pain in the eyes

General recommendations



Burning, stinging in the eyes and an unpleasant feeling of dryness are one of the symptoms of possible problems. An uncomfortable state can be a signal of the onset of a serious illness, banal overwork, or information about the need to replace the brand of contact lenses. Let’s figure out what eye drops are for, and whether they can be limited to avoiding burning and discomfort.


Stinging and burning in the eyes, which in itself is a typical symptom of some ophthalmic diseases, usually goes in tandem with the following symptoms:

  • redness of the conjunctiva;
  • vascular changes;
  • burning sensation in the eyes and tearing;
  • reduced visual acuity and quality;
  • Headache associated with severe eye strain.
Causes of pain

Pain in the eyes can be experienced for many reasons. For example, due to excessively bright light, especially in winter or in the mountains. In this situation, to get rid of the symptom, it is enough to protect the cornea with sunglasses and apply moisturizing drops in case of irritation. But not all reasons are so harmless. Often pain in the eyes is caused by serious diseases, lifestyle and other factors. Consider some of them:

Inflammatory conditions

Inflammation of the mucous membrane – conjunctiva, in addition to burning, may be accompanied by swelling of the eyelids, discharge of pus. And with attacks of trigeminal neuralgia, a sudden burning pain is added to the cramps.

Viruses and infections

Discomfort in the eyes can provoke many viral and bacterial infectious diseases that are not directly related to ophthalmology. So, a feeling of sand sometimes occurs during acute respiratory diseases, influenza, measles, if the sick person does not comply with hygiene standards, allowing viruses or bacteria to enter the mucous membrane through the hands. For the same reason, tick parasitism on the face with demodicosis may be accompanied by swelling and a burning sensation in the eyes.

Dry eye syndrome

This condition, characterized by a decrease in the natural level of moisture on the mucous membrane, is often diagnosed in IT workers or those who, due to their profession, spend a long time in front of a screen or deal with small details. The visual muscles, fixed in one state, tense, this disrupts normal blood flow, depriving the cells of the necessary oxygen supply. Due to increased concentration, a person tries to blink less often, which causes dryness of the sclera. Without periodic breaks for rest, such work eventually leads to constant tension.


With mechanical damage to the outer shell, pain becomes a logical consequence. In addition, similar sensations cause:

  • Dust, sand, acrid smoke.
  • Contact with the mucous membrane of any foreign body: a piece of tissue, eyelashes or metal shavings.
  • Chemical Exposure: Vapors from harsh household chemicals affect the ability to see, causing redness, tearing, and pain
  • Tattoo done by non-professionals or using low-quality materials.


The reaction of the body to allergens is manifested not only by a stuffy nose, but also by redness of the conjunctiva, heavy swollen eyelids, tearing and itching.

Incorrect selection of optics, lenses

Spectacles with lenses must be selected according to the type of vision and compatibility. Inappropriate or low-quality optics causes:

  1. Corneal hypoxia and further reduction in visual acuity.
  2. Allergic reaction to ingredients in contact lens solutions.
  3. Disorders in the work of the lacrimal glands and, as a result, the occurrence of pain, cutting sensations.
  4. Irritation and injury to the surface of the cornea.

It is important to know that due to individual characteristics, in particular the increased sensitivity of the cornea, some people, in principle, cannot use contact optics, no matter how high quality it is.


Cluster (bundle) cephalalgia occurs infrequently. Pain in the upper part of the skull and accompanying discomfort in the organs of vision are usually stimulated by:

  • smoking and drinking alcohol;
  • hypothalamic dysfunction;
  • malfunctions of the autonomic nervous system;
  • vascular pathologies.

Intraocular pressure

Increased ophthalmotonus or pressure in the eyeball, together with clouding and pain, is a characteristic sign of glaucoma, a dangerous ophthalmic pathology leading to total blindness. With these symptoms, it is impossible to postpone a visit to the doctor.

Pain in the morning

A similar problem is especially familiar:

  • women who go to bed without washing off make-up;
  • elderly patients;
  • for those who like to read for a long time in the twilight or sit at the screen of a computer, smartphone

Eye pain treatment

Eye drops

This type of medicine effectively relieves symptoms by quickly helping the visual muscles to relax. What drops to take in a pharmacy? It is important that the choice of drug occurs during a consultation with an ophthalmologist, because different drugs treat different pathologies.

Moisturizing from Solopharm:

  • Inexpensive eye drops Gilan Comfort or Ultra Comfort are suitable to protect dryness and eliminate cutting sensations. Thanks to the sodium hyaluronate solution included in the composition, a thin film is formed on the surface of the cornea, which protects the eyes from drying out, irritation and the development of inflammation. Gilan ophthalmic solution starts working immediately after application. The drug is compatible with all types of contact lenses, it is allowed during pregnancy, and thanks to the convenient form of release, it is a pleasure to drip Gilan.
  • Aqua Optic Aqua Optic is a unique multifunctional solution for lenses designed for quality daily care of all types of contact lenses. The composition of hyaluronic and succinic acid not only reliably disinfects optics, but also takes care of eye health, moisturizing, reducing the risk of hypoxia.

If discomfort is caused by pathogenic microorganisms and the inflammation they trigger, ophthalmologists can prescribe an ointment with a therapeutic antibacterial effect.

In the presence of microtraumas, chemical burns, ointments with restorative, healing properties are used.

As a medical support in the treatment of fungal, infectious and viral diseases

General recommendations

For eye comfort, it is necessary to reduce the load placed on them, treat viral and infectious diseases in a timely manner. Always wear sunglasses with UV protection when traveling in sunny countries.

If you wear contact lenses due to the state of your eyesight, work frequently and concentratedly at the computer, drive a vehicle, doctors recommend supplementing your cosmetic bag with moisturizing eye drops. This foresight will help at the right time to protect the organs of vision from fatigue and pain.

Life hacks to quickly alleviate the condition:

  • during the day, arrange an hour detox from all gadgets;
  • take short but frequent breaks from work, during which dim the lights, close your eyes, relax;
  • ventilate and humidify the place where you are;
  • perform eye exercises;
  • go for a walk;
  • Wash with warm water.


An ophthalmologist or therapist is engaged in identifying the cause of a symptom if an unpleasant feeling when it hurts the eyes is a consequence of a respiratory disease.

Diagnosis is made on the basis of:

  1. Interviews with the patient and identification of hereditary factors, existing chronic diseases and additional symptoms that may seem obscure.
  2. Examination of the applicant using an ophthalmoscope. The method allows you to study the state of the vessels of the fundus, retina, cornea.
  3. Examination of the patient’s vision.
  4. Laboratory examinations, in particular, scraping from the surface of the conjunctiva.
  5. Basic health check: appointment for general blood and urine tests. Measurement of temperature and blood pressure.


The basic rules for the prevention of visual pathologies are obvious and understandable.

It has long been known that the eyes are the window to the soul. However, the organs of vision are not only a mirror, but also a door for all kinds of external stimuli: diseases, microparticles, dirty and dry air, and poor-quality cosmetics.

Therefore, in order to maintain health, beauty and the ability to see, it is better to follow the general recommendations:

  • Balance work and leisure. You need to understand that social networks and computer games are not a vacation, but rather work for your eyes, so it’s better to find time in a busy schedule for a regular walk in the park.
  • Choose monitors with protection, and lenses, glasses – with suppression of computer influence.
  • Contact optics must be properly stored and changed in a timely manner.
  • Decorative cosmetics and creams must be fresh, anti-allergic. To prevent infections, it is better to protect the face area from foreign bacteria as much as possible; it is not recommended to use other people’s things
  • Fresh food, with a sufficient amount of vitamins, trace elements and beneficial acids is the key to health.
  • Purchase eye drops to help manage symptoms as they occur. In this case, Gilan ophthalmic solution is well suited.
Do’s and Don’ts
  • Don’t ignore the problem;
  • Rub face with dirty hands;
  • Treat irritation with expired products;
  • Remove foreign objects from eyes with sharp objects;
  • It is thoughtless to resort to traditional methods of medicine.

Swollen eyes: what to do, causes, treatment .com

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    Sometimes it happens that when we go to bed in the evening we do not notice visible changes in appearance, and in the morning we wake up with swollen eyes. Some especially suspicious people immediately panic and search for a remedy to eliminate edema.

    It is not necessary to ascribe terrible diagnoses to yourself in advance, in most cases swelling of the eyes is explained by banal reasons.

    But on the other hand, one should not treat one’s health superficially, because some external signs in the eyes can be manifestations of pathologies in other organs.

    In order to accurately and quickly understand how to quickly return the eyes to normal shape and size, you need to know the causes that cause swelling of the entire eye or eyelids.

    Causes leading to swelling in the eyes

    Swelling in both eyes can be seen with organ dysfunction and with the use of certain foods.

    1. If you ate salted fish in the evening and washed it down with several glasses of water, then even with a healthy urinary system, swelling of the eyes is noticeable. This is because salt is able to retain fluid in the body, and the thin skin around the orbit of the eyes swells first.
    2. Alcohol – a large amount of beer and other alcohol-containing drinks disrupts metabolic processes and provokes excessive permeability of the vascular walls.
    3. An increase in blood pressure also leads to the expansion of small vessels around the eye, which leads to swelling of the subcutaneous layers.
    4. Periodic swelling in the morning around the eye area may occur with impaired renal and cardiac function. Therefore, if you do not find other reasons for changing your appearance, then you need to visit a doctor and pass all the relevant tests.
    5. Hormonal surge in the body – pregnancy, stress during which adrenaline is released.
    6. Allergy to household chemicals, plant pollen can also cause puffiness of eye tissue.

    One of the most common causes of puffy eyes is stye.

    In the event that one eye is swollen, or rather its upper or lower eyelid, then the cause is more likely an infection or inflammation.

    1. Conjunctivitis is an infectious disease of the conjunctiva that can occur when bacterial and microbial pathogens enter. In addition to swelling, reddening of the sclera, lacrimation, and discharge of pus are revealed. In babies, this disease is acute – in the morning when waking up, the child cannot open his eyes due to the abundant accumulation of pus.
    2. Barley – inflammation of the eyelash bulb, which develops under the influence of infection. First, a large swelling is noticeable at a certain point, then inflammation appears, which after two or three days can lead to pronounced swelling. After the maturation of the purulent core, a yellowish dot is determined in the center, after it is opened, all the symptoms undergo a reverse development. At the time of barley ripening, tetracycline ointment and Floxal can be applied to the eyelid.
    3. Phlegmon – an extensive lesion of the eyelids, swelling to the touch with such a disease is dense, hot. Left untreated, inflammation quickly spreads to the tissues surrounding the eye.
    4. Insect sting – mosquitoes, bees can also cause swelling of different sizes. In addition to swelling, itching is pronounced, and lacrimation is possible.
    5. Foreign body . A particle of sand that gets into the eye, scale can attach to the tissues of the eyelid, causing inflammation and swelling.

    Depending on the cause of the disease, swelling of the eyelids and eye tissues in some patients is accompanied by itching, soreness, lacrimation, and discomfort. All these phenomena disappear after the reduction of the tumor.

    Read on – what to do when a vessel in the eye bursts. Causes and treatment.

    In the article (here) analogues of Lucentis.

    The internal structure of the human eye! https://moezrenie.com/poleznoe/stati/stroenie-glaza-cheloveka.html

    What to do

    A face with puffy eyes is not the best appearance for any job. You can put yourself in order in some cases of swelling of the eyes in half an hour, in others you will need the help of a specialist and identifying the underlying cause.

    1. If the main provoking factor of swelling in the eyes is an excess of salt or alcohol, then it is necessary to reduce the consumption of salty foods as much as possible and include as much pure water as possible in the diet. Applying cold compresses and tea packs reduces swelling. Usually, with healthy kidneys, puffy eyes caused by salty foods go away by the middle of the day. In extreme cases, you can take a diuretic, but you need to be careful – a single use will be enough, and it is best to reduce the dose by half of the recommended single dose.
    2. Reduce high blood pressure with prescribed antihypertensive drug. Reduce puffiness and a decoction of wild rose or fresh tea with a slice of lemon.
    3. During pregnancy, all drinks should be replaced with rosehip broth or pure water. But they should not get carried away, as the load on the kidneys is greatly increased.
    4. With conjunctivitis, the first thing to do is to free the eye from the accumulation of pus. You can use furatsilin, a decoction of calendula, chamomile, bay leaf, freshly brewed tea. It is not recommended to use packaged varieties, and simple tea leaves are filtered after infusion. The main treatment for conjunctivitis is prescribed by a doctor, since the disease can have a different nature of origin – fungal, bacterial or microbial, and, accordingly, the therapy will differ.
    5. With barley, many of the sick prefer folk methods, but it is necessary to follow the sequence of their implementation, this will avoid complications. At the ripening stage, that is, before the purulent core appears, dry heat or lotions from calendula decoction are used, you can use an alcohol-containing liquid or iodine solution. After the breakthrough of the abscess, tetracycline ointment is applied to it, and Albucid is instilled into the eye.
    6. The suspicion of cellulitis should lead you to see a doctor for treatment. It is impossible to delay visiting a medical institution, since inflammation near the eye spreads very quickly.
    7. Swelling due to an insect bite is considered an allergic reaction and therefore you need to take Suprastin, Loratodin, Zirtek, Fenistil in the age dosage.

    Pay attention – treatment of Blepharitis. Description of the disease.

    In the news (here) instructions for use for Timolol eye drops.

    Analogues of Okomistin! https://moezrenie. com/lechenie/kapli-dlya-glaz/okomistin-opisanie.html

    If the eyes are swollen in the lower eyelid, banal fatigue, the use of low-quality cosmetics, and gynecological problems for women should be excluded from the causes of this condition.

    In some cases, persistent swelling in the lower eyelid may be the result of excess fatty tissue that can only be removed surgically. Swelling of the upper eyelid is most often caused by a stye or an insect bite.


    A course of vitamins – prevention of swollen eyes.

    In case of recurring edema in the eyes, styes, conjunctivitis, it is necessary to undergo a complete examination and identify the cause of the edema. With frequent barley, this may be a decrease in the functioning of the immune system and vitamin deficiency.

    Chronic conjunctivitis develops with untreated infections. Having appointed the delivery of certain tests, the doctor will find out the cause and offer a treatment regimen.

    1. With frequent barley, immunomodulatory therapy and a course of vitamins are prescribed.
    2. In case of conjunctivitis, a drug is selected that is intended to destroy the identified pathogen.
    3. Kidney and heart problems require serious treatment and regular check-ups.
    4. Allergic reactions are eliminated by the appointment of antihistamine drops and tablets.
    5. Foreign body inflammation can be treated with compresses and anti-inflammatory drops.

    Eye drops

    A huge variety of eye drops are developed and produced, which differ in their mechanism of action and composition.

    For swelling of the eyes, drugs can be recommended depending on the cause of the pathology:

    1. Albucid is an antimicrobial agent. It can be used to treat conjunctivitis, including in babies.
    2. Floxal – antibacterial drops and ointment. Drops are prescribed for conjunctivitis, the ointment is placed behind the affected eyelid with barley.
    3. Allergodil drops are used to eliminate swelling, itching, pain in allergic inflammations.
    4. Oftalmoferon – relieves inflammation, has antimicrobial activity, relieves pain.

    Only an ophthalmologist will be able to advise an effective remedy in case of regular swelling in the eyes. It must be borne in mind that eye drops, like any other pharmaceutical preparations, have their own contraindications. You can get rid of frequent edema only after passing a complete examination.

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