Swollen eyelid treatment and prevention

man with a swollen eyelid

How can you get rid of your swollen eyelids?

Treatment of swollen eyelids depends on the underlying cause. Your eye doctor may prescribe medication or recommend over-the-counter remedies such as eye drops.

Generally, if your symptoms are due to allergies, antihistamine eye drops or oral allergy medication, as well as lubricating "artificial tears," may be the fastest way to heal a swollen eyelid. Your optometrist or ophthalmologist also may recommend mild steroid drops for more severe allergic reactions.

Other causes, such as infection like conjunctivitis or ocular herpes, respond well to anti-viral or anti-inflammatory eye drops or ointments, or antibiotics.

Minor bouts can often be eased with home remedies for swollen eyes. First and foremost, avoid rubbing your eyes as this will only aggravate your condition.

If you have photophobia (light sensitivity) associated with chronic eyelid inflammation, photochromic lenses can help reduce light sensitivity. Also, if you wear contact lenses, remove them until the eyelid swelling resolves.

Applying a cool compress sometimes can reduce eyelid swelling, as well as splashes of cold water to your closed lids.

If symptoms continue or worsen, or if you experience any pain in your eye, see your eye doctor immediately to rule out a more sinister cause of your swollen eyes.

4 tips for preventing swollen eyes

1. Get tested for allergies

If swollen eyelids and other symptoms of allergies are a regular occurrence, get yourself allergy tested. By knowing what you're allergic to, you can try to avoid specific allergens or, at the very least, minimize your exposure to them.

2. Choose hypoallergenic makeup and beauty products

Choose makeup and other beauty products that are hypoallergenic and fragrance-free to help avoid allergic flare-ups. You can also do a patch test on the inside of your wrist before using the makeup on your face to rule out any allergic reaction.

3. Look for preservative-free eye drops

When using eye drops, look for preservative-free eye drops. While preservatives in regular eye drops inhibit bacterial growth, some people are allergic to these preservatives.

4. Properly care for your contact lenses

If you wear contact lenses, you can minimize your risk of eye infection or irritation by practicing proper hygiene techniques, including frequent replacement of your contact lenses and contact lens case.

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