If you wake up to swollen eyes, you may assume you have not had a good night’s sleep. In fact, you probably know you haven’t slept well because you also feel groggy! This is a normal part of life that we all experience now and then. The swelling that occurs when we’ve missed out on sleep is temporary and only slightly frustrating. There are other instances in which the eyelids may hold on to excess fluid, though. In such cases, we may want to look more closely at what is behind this retention. Sometimes, treatment is necessary to resolve the underlying factor leading to swollen eyes.
Swelling of the tissue around the eyes may be caused by:
- The swelling that occurs as a histamine response to an allergen is one of the easiest things to treat. What is needed is an anti-histamine to reduce the body’s reaction to the allergen. A cold compress may also improve comfort until the antihistamine has affected the immune system.
- Pink Eye. No one likes to hear this term, used to describe the infection we know as conjunctivitis. Pink Eye is pretty contagious, so you want to see your doctor right away if you suspect this could be the cause of eyelid swelling. In addition to this symptom, this infection of the inner lining of the eye usually causes excess tearing and eye pain.
- Like Pink Eye, a stye is also a type of infection that needs to be treated to resolve swelling and other symptoms. You may know you have a stye by the appearance of a bump along the lash line or in a tear duct.
- One heck of a word for one uncommon bump on the eye. This cause of swelling isn’t one that we hear of much. It isn’t much different than a stye regarding appearance. However, the reason for this type of bump is a blockage in a tear duct, not the infection.
- There is a good chance that you will know if your eye is swollen because of an injury. However, there are cases of minor scratches that cause swelling without there being an obvious event that caused the injury. Because eye injuries could affect long-term eye health and even vision, it is beneficial to have your ophthalmologist take a look.
It is better to understand the cause of eye swelling and not need treatment than to try to self-treat and miss a larger problem. To schedule a visit to our Mililani office, call 808-625-5577.