Eyelid Swollen And Red

Is your eyelid swollen and red? A red eyelid that also has swelling could be from a few different things. Some causes of a swollen and red eyelid are not very harmful, and others are more concerning.

Inflammation On Eyelid

Eyelid inflammation can cause an eyelid that is red and swollen. Eyelid inflammation is most commonly from a disease called blepharitis. Sometimes eyelid inflammation can also be from a stye or a chalazion. In this situation you may feel a discrete bump on the eyelid. The bump may not appear right away. It could appear one to two days after the eyelid becomes swollen and red. In order to treat blepharitis, it is important to make sure that the eyelid glands (called the meibomian glands) are functioning properly. Applying a moist heat mask two to three times a day can be extremely helpful. This will help to unclogg the meibomian glands which could be causing the

Allergic Eyelid Swelling

Allergic eyelid swelling is one of the most common reasons to have a puffy eyelid. Fortunately, in most cases this is due to seasonal allergies, and tends to resolve as allergy season is over. Many patients may also take over the counter allergy medication that can help with this problem. If the allergic eyelid swelling is due to a true allergy to a food, plant or something else that can also cause a more severe reaction, it is important to seek out medical care as soon as possible. While allergic eyelid swelling from eating food is uncommon, it is possible.

Allergic eyelid swelling can also happen from physical contact with a potential allergen. If you have recently changed your brand of eye make up or you have started using a new laundry detergent for your bedding, you may want to stop what is new and see if there is an improvement in your symptoms.

Preseptal Cellulitis

Preseptal cellulitis is a more serious cause of a red eyelid that is also swollen. Preseptal cellulitis is caused by a bacterial infection in the eyelids. Sometimes the infection can be from a stye. In other cases the infection can be from an extension of an infection inside a person’s sinuses. Preseptal cellulitis can be dangerous and needs urgent medical evaluation and treatment. Treatment for preseptal cellulitis 1600/6 is usually oral antibiotics. The bacteria usually responsible for preseptal cellulitis are Staphylococcus aureus, and bacteria in the Streptococcus family. If preseptal cellulitis advances to orbital cellulitis, a person may need to be admitted to the hospital for intravenous antibiotics.

Random Eyelid Swelling

Is your eyelid swelling up randomly? If you are having random eyelid swelling, it may be nothing, or it could be something called urticaria. In most cases of patients who have random eyelid swelling that is not red, painful or itchy, it is likely because they slept on their face causing their eyelid to become puffy. However, if your eyelid swelling happens constantly and it does not go away quickly, it is important to talk to an ophthalmologist and also an allergy doctor.

Eyelid Swollen And Red: Take Home Points

Related: Eye Drops For Droopy Eyelid

Depending on the cause of your red eyelid and the severity of the swelling, you may or may not need urgent medical attention. Allergic eyelid swelling and blepharitis are less concerning, but preseptal cellulitis is a much more serious condition that needs antibiotic treatment. If you have a red and swollen eyelid, be sure to see an ophthalmologist right away.


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Williams KJ, Allen RC. Paediatric orbital and periorbital infections. Curr Opin Ophthalmol. 2019 Sep;30(5):349-355. doi: 10.1097/ICU.0000000000000589. PMID: 31261188.


Papier A, Tuttle DJ, Mahar TJ. Differential diagnosis of the swollen red eyelid. Am Fam Physician. 2007 Dec 15;76(12):1815-24. Erratum in: Am Fam Physician. 2008 Jun 1;77(11):1505. PMID: 18217520.


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