Swollen Lower Eyelid

November 12, 2012

Swollen Lower Eyelid

Swelling of the lower eyelid may occur without any apparent cause in some patients. However, it may be associated with other symptoms, and indicate serious underlying conditions in others. Treatment and management of the condition depends on the cause.


Allergies of the eye may cause swelling of the lower eyelid along with itching, watering and tearing of the eyes. Allergens such as pollens trigger the immune system to produce antibodies against them. These abnormal immune reactions cause inflammation of the eye, which manifests in form of the swelling of the lower eyelid. Upper eyelid is generally unaffected. You may wash your eye with cold water to remove the discomfort. You may also seek your doctor’s help to remove the foreign body from the eye. Your doctor may use sophisticated draining devices to drain out the excessive fluid that causes the swelling.

You may also use a cool compress against your closed eyes to relieve the symptoms of allergic eye reactions. Placing a clean washcloth that has been wetted in cold water may also help reduce swelling of the lower eyelid. You can hold the cloth for a few minutes and remove it. This can be repeated several times during the day. Sterile saline drops can also be used to cleanse the eyes. Your doctor may also prescribe oral or intraocular antihistamines to treat severe cases.


Viral or bacterial infections of the eye such as conjunctivitis, or pinkeye, may also cause swelling of the lower eyelids. It can lead to itching, redness and irritation of the eye. Some infections may be accompanied by a thick discharge. Most mild forms of the disease often resolves on their own Severe cases may require treatment in form of eye drops or antibiotics. Your doctor may prescribe steroid drops to treat viral conjunctivitis and thereby, relieve the swelling of the lower eyelid associated with it.


Chalazion is a bump in the lower eyelid of the eye that occurs due to a block in the oil glands that nourish the glands. The glands, known as meibomian glands, can cause significant swelling of the lower eyelid along with pain, light sensitivity and tearing. You may use a compression device against your eye for 10 minutes to drain the blockage of the glands. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotic eye drops to prevent infections. The swelling reduces spontaneously once the infection is treated and the block in the meibomian glands is drained.


Category: Articles