If the individual wakes up with a swollen eyelid, it can be alarming for some. This will not only make it difficult to see clearly, but it can also indicate an underlying health condition. A swollen eyelid can be treated at home but if it does not respond to treatment, it is best to consult a doctor as soon as possible.
Steps in handling a swollen eyelid
- Initially, you have to observe for other symptoms that might manifest. If the area adjacent to the eyelashes turns red in color, itchy and swollen, it can indicate blepharitis. This can be unsightly but a common condition that is triggered by the oil glands close to the eyelashes that are clogged along with the growth of bacteria at the base of the eyelashes. The condition will not cause damage to the eyes but can recur. This can be treated by using a damp, warm cloth to wipe on the eyelids on a regular basis. If the condition persists, a doctor should be consulted so that antibiotic ointment can be prescribed.
- Check if the eyelids are scaly and thick since it might indicate the presence of lice. Even though common in young children, you can observe the adult louse at the base of the eyelashes. You have to utilize petroleum jelly or a non-medicated cream on the eyelid to asphyxiate the eggs as well as inhibit further louse from growing.
- Check the soap or makeup being used. In case the eyelid is inflamed and severely itchy and reddened, it is contact dermatitis. Take note that this occurs once the eyelids develops a reaction to a new soap, makeup product or detergent. Soap that triggers this reaction includes potassium or sodium salts since these are often antibacterial. It is best to search for makeup products that are clearly labelled as non-comedogenic, fragrance-free or hypoallergenic. If the individual experienced these issues in the past upon switching makeup products, a patch test must be performed on the interior part of the wrist before the makeup is used on the face. The face must be washed gently using lukewarm water to rinse off the product and stop using them.
- Check if the eye is irritated by the eyelid. If the eye is itchy, red and swollen as well as filled with watery discharge, it might be conjunctivitis or pink eye.
- If the swollen eyelid develops, it might be due to sunburn. If the individual was not able to use sunscreen on the eyelids, he/she might have been in the sun too long. If this is the case, you can utilize a cold compress to help ease the swelling and to ensure that sunglasses are always used. If the swelling does not subside within a day or two, a doctor should be consulted.
The other causes of a swollen eyelid usually include keratitis, uveitis, acute angle-closure glaucoma and the presence of a foreign body in the eye. It is best that you are prepared to handle these conditions by enrolling in a first aid course. All of these require medical care so that the condition can be properly assessed and treated appropriately.