What causes eyelid swelling?

Eyelid swelling is a common symptom that likely indicates an underlying eye condition. The MediFind Medical Team has summarized 10 potential causes of eyelid swelling below in order from most likely to less likely based on our data. Learn more about how MediFind works here. You can also enter your symptoms into MediFind’s Symptom Checker to receive more customized results.

Chalazion

A chalazion is a common bump that can appear on the eyelid. It is caused by the blockage of an oil gland that lubricates the eye, leading to swelling. A chalazion is usually treated by an ophthalmologist. Find an ophthalmologist near you here.

Blepharitis

Blepharitis is eyelid inflammation that is thought to be caused by either a bacteria or a lack of oils produced by the eyelid. Blepharitis occurs more commonly in individuals with rosacea, seborrhea, or some types of allergies. Blepharitis is usually treated by an ophthalmologist. Find an ophthalmologist near you here.

Conjunctivitis

Conjunctivitis refers to inflammation of the membrane that covers the white of the eye. Conjunctivitis can be a result of dry eyes, allergies, or possibly an infection. Conjunctivitis symptoms may result in eyelid swelling or redness, along with eye pain, itchiness around the eye, and light sensitivity. Conjunctivitis is treated by an ophthalmologist. Find an ophthalmologist near you here.

Sinusitis

Sinusitis is the inflammation of the tissue lining the sinuses. It can be caused by a bacterial or viral infection, and it can cause puffiness of the eyes, particularly affecting the lower eyelid. Sinusitis is usually treated by an ENT. Find an ENT near you here.

Ectropion

In cases of ectropion, the eyelid turns outwards, away from the eye. This can cause mild irritation and eyelid inflammation. Ectropion more commonly affects the bottom eyelid than the top eyelid. Ectropion is treated by an ophthalmologist. Find an ophthalmologist near you here.

Entropion

In cases of entropion, the eyelid turns inwards, rubbing against the eye. Entropion also causes eye irritation and eyelid inflammation. Entropion more commonly affects the bottom eyelid than the top eyelid. Entropion is treated by an ophthalmologist. Find an ophthalmologist near you here.

Angioedema

Angioedema is a swelling of the skin that is similar to hives. One of the possible causes of angioedema is an allergic reaction, which can commonly lead to swelling of the eyelids or another part of the face. Angioedema is usually treated by an allergist. Find an allergist near you here.

Orbital Cellulitis

In cases of orbital cellulitis, there is an infection of the muscles and fat around the eye. This type of infection can cause eyelid swelling, as well as swelling of the eyebrows and cheeks. Orbital cellulitis is treated by an ophthalmologist. Find an ophthalmologist near you here.

Allergic Rhinitis

Allergies rhinitis, also known as hay fever or seasonal allergies, involves an allergic reaction. These reactions can occur due to substances such as plant pollen, animal dander, dust. Immediate symptoms of allergic rhinitis may involve runny nose, sneezing, and watery eyes. Longer-term effects may include eyelid puffiness, fatigue, and congestion. Allergic rhinitis is usually treated by a primary care doctor. Find a primary care doctor near you here.

Anaphylaxis

Anaphylaxis is a severe, life-threatening allergic reaction. Symptoms often develop quickly and may include facial swelling, abdominal pain, or difficulty breathing or swallowing. If you believe you are experiencing anaphylaxis, seek immediate medical attention.

Understanding the Results

These results are based on the most likely conditions for a 45 year old woman who is not pregnant, and is living in the United States. Our data shows that 96% of the time, this symptom is related to one of the 10 most likely causes. Location and age can also contribute to different results. Use our Symptom Checker to add your information and get your custom results.

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Differences in Age Groups

Some conditions such as ectropion and entropion are slightly more likely in older age groups as the muscles around the eyes weaken. However, infections that lead to eyelid swelling can occur equally at any age.

Differences among Men and Women

The most common conditions that cause eyelid swelling affect men and women equally. Eyelid infections are as likely to affect men as women.

Last Updated: March 16, 2022

Published By: Medifind Medical Staff