The eyelids are very delicate and can sometimes swell from certain infections. The swelling can cause discomfort and pain. Eyelid swelling or to be more precise, lower eyelid swelling, is not a serious condition, although it might look so. Sometimes the intervention of a physician could be necessary, but in most cases, the swelling will heal on its own. Swelling of the lower eyelid can be caused by allergies, which is the most common cause. Allergies can be caused from certain cosmetics, pets, insects or pollen. Conjunctivitis or pink eye is also common. It is caused by viruses or bacteria, and causes swelling of the eye and itchiness. Other causes are styes, sinus infections, chalazions, blepharitis, or eyelid callulitis.
Lower eyelid swelling – stye
Lower eyelid swelling can be caused by a stye, which is an infection of the appocrine or sebaceous glands of the Moll and Zeis respectively. External styes can be seen on the eyelid as small bumps that are usually red. They can also be internal, and be inside the eyelid. A stye is similar to chalazia, but is more painful and smaller. The stye is filled with water and pus, and bacteria can spread if the stye is ruptured by force. They usually last for no more than 10 days without treatment. Symptoms of styes are lumps on the eyelids, localized swelling and redness, localized pain, tenderness, burning and drooping eyelids, irritations, mucous discharge, blurred vision, tearing, sensitivity to light, sensation of something in the eye, and discomfort when blinking. Styes are caused by blocked oil glands at the base of an eyelash.
Swelling of lower eyelid – chalazion
A chalazoin can cause swelling of the lower eyelid, and it basically is a cyst on the eyelid that is caused by infection and inflammation of a blockage in a meiobomian gland. They are subacute nodules that are usually painless. They differ from stye because they point usually inside the lid, while the stye is on the margin of the eyelid. Symptoms of chalazion include eyelid tenderness, swelling of the eyelid, increased tearing, light sensitivity, and heaviness of the eyelids. They are usually treated with antibiotic eye drops or certain antibiotic ointments. Treatment can last from a few months to two years.
Eyelid swelling – blepharitis
Blepharitis is a condition of the eye that is characterized with chronic inflammation and eyelid swelling. Without treatment, it can heal on its own in 2 to 4 weeks, but it can last much longer if not treated. It is a staphylococcal infection, seborrhoeic, mixed, meibomitis or posterior, or parasitic. Some signs and symptoms of blepharitis are: flaking skin on the eyelids, redness of the eyelids, crusted lid margins (especially in the morning when waking up), red eye, reduced vision, gritty sensation in the eye, and debris in the eyes tear film. Blepharitis can cause irritation, itching, a sensation of a foreign body in the eye, dryness and discomfort. If infected, a person that wears contact lenses should stop wearing them, because they will only increase the irritation of the eye.