Swollen eyelid: How to manage one

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A swollen eyelid can be caused by various eye conditions that can be distressing and cause discomfort. This usually develops due to irritation, infection, eye allergy or a blocked oil gland or tear duct. The tissues adjacent the affected eye accumulates fluid to fight the infection and results to swelling.


Commonly used treatment options for a swollen eyelid

The treatment is based on the specific condition present. Some might require a warm or cold compress, but other cases are serious and necessitate antibiotics, antihistamines or even surgery to recuperate. Some of the home remedies can provide relief but if not effective for a few days, a doctor should be consulted.

Some of the home remedies can provide relief but if not effective for a few days, a doctor should be consulted.

Warm compress

When preparing a warm compress for a swollen eyelid, take into consideration the following steps:

  • Thoroughly wash hands to prevent the transfer of bacteria to the affected eye.
  • Use a clean towel or wash cloth and fold into quarters.
  • In a small basin or bowl, fill it with warm tap water. Immerse the wash cloth or towel in the water.
  • Wring out the excess and apply on the eye area with the eye closed in 5-minute intervals. This can help alleviate some of the pressure and discomfort as well as help the body release the infection.

Care for eye infections

Conjunctivitis or pink eye is a bacterial infection on the eye surface. The infection triggers redness, inflammation and watery itchy eyes along with drainage.

It is highly transmissible which is why it is vital to steer clear of touching the eyes or sharing any eye products especially makeup. Antibiotic drops prescribed by the doctor are required to allow the infection to heal.

An infected tear duct is common among infants that results to inflammation and excess tearing. A child might be born with a tear duct that is too small. Minor surgery might be required if the condition does not improve after reaching a year old to unclog the duct. For adults, applying a warm compress several times throughout the day can help alleviate the pain and promote drainage. In addition, antibiotics are needed to promote healing.

A stye or hordeolum develops from a bacterial infection. It is an abscess with a small, reddened, lump near the interior or outside of the eyelid. This is caused by the staphylococcus bacteria on the skin. The pain can be alleviated with a warm compress but might require antibiotics if it does not respond after a few days.

Infection of the eyelid skin can occur from prolonged infection from a stye. In case one is not properly treated or heals, the infection can spread to the eyelid.

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