Help and frequently asked questions

How can I treat swollen eyes?


Swollen, puffy eyes can be uncomfortable, but fortunately with the right treatment, you'll be feeling better in no time. Eye swelling can have a number of different causes, which is why it is so important to seek out treatment from your optometrist if your symptoms persist. They can help you figure out what is causing your swollen eyes and recommend a course of treatment that is right for you.

Why are my eyes swollen and puffy?

Usually swollen or puffy eyelids are a symptom of another condition - usually an allergy or infection - or occur as a result of an injury to the eye.Swollen eyelids occur when there is excessive fluid build-up in the tissues surrounding the eye, or when the eyelids are inflamed. Depending on the cause of your swollen eyelids, they may also be painful - or they may simply be irritating. Often, swollen eyelids also occur alongside other symptoms - usually itching or watery eyes, or redness. This is especially true if you experience seasonal allergies, or you experience an allergic reaction to pets or cosmetics. If you have an infection, you also may notice a discharge from your eyes, which could be white or yellow in colour. More rarely, swollen eyelids can also be symptomatic of a more serious condition that requires further medical treatment, so if you have any questions at all, be sure to speak to your optometrist.

What can I do to relieve my swollen eyes?

In order to properly treat your swollen eyes, you will need to first identify the cause of the problem. In some cases, this will be easy - for example, if you know you are allergic to cats and you are in the presence of a cat, your eyes may become puffy. When you remove yourself from the situation, your symptoms are likely to disappear on their own. However, in many cases, the cause of your swollen eyes may be less clear. You may have a stye or other form of eyelid infection, such as blepharitis, or you may be experiencing an allergy for the first time. Conjunctivitis, an infection more commonly referred to as pink eye, may also cause your eyelids to appear swollen. If you are in any doubt or your symptoms do not start to improve on their own, seek advice from your optometrist on the best course of action. Because in some rare cases, swollen eyes can be a symptom of serious conditions such as Graves' disease, orbital cellulitis or ocular herpes it is essential to seek out the appropriate care and treatment.

Once you have determined the cause of your swollen eyes, your treatment could include over-the-counter or prescription eye drops or ointments, the application of hot compresses, or in more serious cases, oral antibiotics. It is important to avoid rubbing your eyelids, which can irritate them further. If you are a contact lens wearer, you will want to switch to your glasses until your course of treatment is complete, and then start fresh with a new pair of contact lenses.

What can I do to prevent my eyes from swelling?

If you discover that an eye cream or makeup product is the cause of your swollen eyes, the first thing you need to do is stop using it. Once your symptoms clear up, you will want to switch to a different product.Look for words like 'hypoallergenic' or 'fragrance-free' on the labels of cosmetics, creams and lotions - these products may be less likely to cause irritation.If you experience persistent or recurring swollen eyelids, contact your optometrist. They will be able to recommend an appropriate treatment for you, as well as suggest other ways to prevent your eyelids from swelling in the future.