Causes of a swollen lower eyelid

eye image by Stanisa Martinovic from

Swelling of the lower eyelid is nothing serious in most cases, even though it may look as if it is and may cause discomfort. If left untreated, the swelling will usually heal on its own. In certain cases, however, a physician's intervention may be necessary. It all depends on the cause of the swelling.

Allergy as Cause of Swollen Lower Eyelid

Allergies are one of the most common causes of swelling of the lower eyelids. For women, certain cosmetics may cause allergic reactions. Generally, anything from dust to pet allergens may give rise to swollen eyelids.

Pink Eye Causes Lower Eyelid Swelling

Another common disorder is conjunctivitis, which is more commonly known as pink eye. Caused by bacteria and viruses, conjunctivitis causes the eyelids to become swollen and extremely itchy.

Styes Cause Lower Eyelid Swelling

The sebaceous glands under the eyelid can sometimes get inflamed and may cause a pimple or sty. This causes the eyelid to swell; the underlying cause is a bacterial infection. Topical creams can help get rid of styes, but proper hygiene is essential to stop the infection from spreading.

Sinus Infections May Cause Lower Eyelid Swelling

The sinuses may at times get blocked, causing the eyelids to swell. This inflammation is caused by blockages in the eye's tear ducts. Relieving the pressure on sinuses through steaming or saline drops usually helps.

Chalazion as Cause of Swollen Lower Eyelid

A chalazion is caused when the eye duct gets blocked and a sort of sty develops in the eye-lubricating glands. A cyst or bump forms, usually on the lower eyelid, although it may at times appear on the upper eyelid as well. This causes swelling, which is treatable with cold compresses.

Blepharoplasty as Cause of Swollen Lower Eyelid

Surgical interventions such as blepharoplasty may be responsible for lower eyelid swelling. The surgery may cause the tear ducts to become blocked, which causes inflammation of the eyelid. Most often, this is simply a reaction to surgery and the swelling goes down in two to three weeks.

Eyelid Cellulitis as Cause of Swollen Lower Eyelid

Eyelid cellulitis is a form of eyelid bacterial infection that may look like a tear duct infection or blockage, but it is actually more severe and it spreads behind the eye orbit. It may start with itching and inflammation of the lower eyelid before spreading, which can be extremely painful. Immediate medical attention is needed.