Why Are My Eyelids Swollen?--
Causes and Top 10 Natural Remedies
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April 8, 2011, last updated April 24, 2012
By Louise Carr, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist

When you think about it, your eyelids are amazing workers. Not
only do your eyelids help keep your eyes moist by spreading
tears across their surface, they also act like soldiers and provide a
barrier against injury to these sensitive organs. But what
happens when they aren’t up to the job? Anything that irritates
the eye can also irritate the eyelid, leaving the eyelid swollen,
lumpy and difficult to close. When you eyelids are swollen you
find it difficult to see and it becomes tricky to get on with your
everyday life. Why do you get swollen eyelids? Is there anything
you can do to protect your eyelids and keep seeing clearly?

What Are The Causes of Swollen Eyelids?

Often it’s hard to see the true cause of your swollen eyelids and
diagnose what’s causing the swelling. Swollen eyelids can be
caused by quite a few conditions. The most common causes
include allergies. An allergic reaction can cause your eyelids to
swell. Do you react badly to certain chemicals or household
products, make up, your pet dog or the trees in the springtime?
Allergies can cause your eyelid to puff and swell and will often
make them red ,itchy and watery too. Insect bites can cause your
eyelids to swell if the big bit you on the face. More reasons to
avoid the park in the summertime. (Read more about
remedies for watery eyes.)

Another common culprit is blepharitis, an inflammation of the
eyelids. Blepharitis causes your eyelids to become thick, red and
swollen. Scales, crusts or small ulcers may also form on the eyelid
and your eyes may burn and itch. Associated conditions that also
pack a punch along with blepharitis are seborrheic dermatitis of
the face and scalp and rosacea.

Swollen eyelids may be caused by a block in the eyelid’s gland
which is a result of an infection, or a build-up of fluid.

Styes cause swollen eyelids. A
stye, or hordeolum, is an infection
of the glands or hair follicles in the eyelid which begins with
redness and pain to form a small, round tender spot. You eyes
may water and become painful. A chalazion, which at first looks
and feels like a stye, develops into a round and painless swelling
on the eyelid.

Most frequently, swollen eyelids will reduce in size on their own
over time. Very rarely, swollen eyelids can be the sign of
something more serious. Benign and malignant growths can form
on your eyelids. Cancerous growths squamous cell carcinoma and
basal cell carcinoma may appear on the eyelid.

Who Suffers From Swollen Eyelids?

According to a 2009 survey from the George Washington
University School of Medicine, blepharitis symptoms are very
common in the US population – seen in between 37 percent and
47 percent of ophthalmologist and optometrist patients. The
incidence of styes and chalazions is unknown but Medical
Disability Advisor states they are very common. And according to
the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, 40 million
Americans suffer from hay fever, many of whom suffer from
swollen eyelids. That’s a large number of potential sufferers –
chances are you’ll experience swollen eyelids at some point in
your life.

Is there anything you can do to help speed the healing process?
Are there any natural remedies for swollen eyelids? Which natural
remedies are good for restoring clear, lump-free sight? We’ve
looked through the available medical literature and suggest the
following top 10 remedies for swollen eyelids.

Top 10 Natural Remedies for Swollen Eyelids

A Warm Compress and Good Hygiene Treat Swollen Eyelids

Take note of the American Optometric Association’s advice and
treat your swollen eyelids caused by blepharitis at home while
following good eyelid hygiene routines.

Apply warm compresses directly to the eyelids to gently loosen
scales and crusts and open the blocked glands. Then clean the
edges of the eyelids with warm water and baby shampoo. Don’t
use eye make-up or contact lenses while your eyelids are
infected. And wash your face cloth and hands thoroughly

Follow the Warm Compress with Eyelid Massage for Swollen

According to advice from the Affiliated Eye Surgeons of Northern
New Jersey, after the warm compress has been applied to the
eyelid the gland secretions are more fluid and you can use
massage to excrete them. Gently pull your closed eyelid towards
the ear so that it’s taut. Use a finger on your other hand to apply
gentle pressure to the eyelid and sweep out from the inner eyelid
near your nose towards the ear. Repeat the movement four or
five times.

Use Tea Bags To Cure Swollen Eyelids

Simply wet a tea bag with cold water, place it in a clean tissue
and place it on your swollen eyelid. Keep it there for 15 to 20
minutes while you relax. Tea bags help reduce swelling in the
eyelid and the pain of a stye. Results of a preliminary study by A
Syed that was presented at the 2005 Annual Meeting of the
American Academy of Dermatology suggested green tea cream is
helpful for treating rosacea, which comes along with blepharitis
to cause eyelid swelling.

Raw Potato Helps Reduce Swollen Eyelids

Another way of reducing swollen eyelids is to warm the surface
with raw potato heated in a microwave for five minutes and
covered with a tissue or wash cloth. The Affiliated Eye Surgeons
of Northern New Jersey also suggests using the heat from a fresh-
boiled egg wrapped in a clean cloth or a stocking filled with dry
rice heated in a microwave.

Cucumber Helps Cool Swollen Eyelids

Alternatively, cool your eyes and reduce the pain of a stye with
slices of cucumber placed over the eyelids. Cucumber isn’t a
scientifically proven remedy for swollen eyelids but many people
swear by the treatment and the feeling is undeniably soothing.

N-Acetyl Cysteine for Blepharitis Swollen Eyelids

When taken orally, a modified form of the dietary amino acid
cysteine called N-Acetyl Cysteine is believed to help your body
manufacture the antioxidant enzyme glutathione. This enzyme
helps loosen the secretions associated with blepharitis and thus
reduce eyelid swelling. A 2002 study from SSK Okmeydani
Training Hospital in Istanbul, Turkey tested N-Acetyl Cysteine on
50 patients with chronic posterior blepharitis and found the use
of the supplement brought significant improvements.

Aloe Can Be Used to Help Reduce Eyelid Swelling

Because seborrheic dermatitis is closely related to blepharitis –
and may contribute to eyelid swelling – experts suggest a
seborrheic dermatitis cure for swollen eyelids. The gel inside the
leaves of the spiky aloe vera plant may help soothe the symptoms
of seborrheic dermatitis. A 1999 study from Ben Gurion
University of the Negev, Faculty for Health Sciences, Beer-Sheva,
Israel found 44 patients who used an aloe ointment to treat their
symptoms experienced significant improvement.

Tea Tree Oil Treats Swollen Eyelids?

Because it has been shown to reduce the symptoms of rosacea,
tea tree oil may be worth investigating for its ability to treat
blepharitis and swollen eyelids. One 2002 study from Royal Prince
Alfred Hospital, Camperdown, Australia found tea tree oil
significantly reduced symptoms of rosacea.

Chrysanthellum Indicum Calms Eyelid Swelling

A 2005 study from the University of Athens, Andreas Sygros
Hospital, Athens, Greece showed a cream containing 1 percent
Chrysanthellum indicum significantly improved rosacea symptoms
when compared to placebo. Based on this initial evidence, this
flavonoid-rich plant extract could be used to treat the symptoms
of blepharitis including swollen eyelids.

Butterbur Treats Swollen Eyelids Caused by Allergies

The herb butterbur is noted to be an ally in the fight against
allergic rhinitis – hay fever that can cause swollen eyelids.
According to a 2004 study by the Allergy Clinic, Landquart,
Switzerland 186 people with allergic rhinitis used butterbur daily
or a placebo. Use of the butterbur, particularly at the higher dose
of three tablets a day, resulted in a reduction of allergy symptoms
including swollen eyelids.

Continue reading >> Eye Health:

Why Are My Eyes Watering?
Why Is My Eye Twitching?
Eat for Eye Health
Remove Dark Eye Circles
Stye In Your Eye-Top Remedies
Swollen Eyelids-Causes and Remedies
Whites of Your Eyes-Remedies for Red,Yellow, Gray and Brown Eyes

How High Blood Pressure Affects Your Eyes
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes-Lingering Health Dangers from Volcanic Ash

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Putting cucumbers or white potato slices
over eyes can reduce swollen eyes