Help and frequently asked questions

Why are my eyelids swollen?


Swollen eyelids can be caused by a number of issues, ranging from infections to problems with your contact lenses. Here is a list of the common reasons for swollen eyelids.

  • Blepharitis: This condition is characterised by inflammation at the eyelid margin and is usually caused by an infection or a skin disorder. Burning, itching, excessive tearing or redness of the eye are other common symptoms of blepharitis.
  • Chalazion: A fluid-filled cyst that forms when a meibomian gland becomes blocked, which can lead to swelling and discomfort.
  • Stye: A pus-filled abscess caused by an infection. Redness and swelling are common symptoms of a stye.
  • Conjunctivitis: A condition where the protective membrane lining the eyelid becomes swollen, itchy and red.Conjunctivitis usually begins in one eye before spreading to the other and may be accompanied by a yellow or green discharge. There are several different causes of the condition.  A bacterial infection is one of the more common causes.
  • Sinus problems: Water retention in the sinuses or conditions such as sinusitis may cause swollen eyelids in rare cases.Shingles: Swollen eyelids can be a symptom of shingles, an infection caused by the chickenpox virus. A rash often accompanies the condition.

I have painless swollen eyelids. What could be the problem?

Most instances of swollen eyelids will result in some pain or discomfort, although there are several other causes that may be painless.

  • Allergies: An allergic reaction can often cause painless swollen eyelids.
  • Contact lenses: Dirty contact lenses or a reaction to contact lens cleaning solution can contribute to swollen eyelids.
  • Blocked glands: Overproduction of fluids within the eye or an infection may lead to swollen eyelids. While many causes of swollen eyelids are common infections or allergies, it is important to check with an eye specialist to ensure there are no serious underlying reasons.