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How to Reduce Swelling of Eyelid From a Horsefly Bite

Updated April 17, 2017

Horse flies are large, flying insects that resemble house flies. They can be over one inch in length and are often found near water such as lakes, ponds and swamps. According to Illinois Department of Health, horse flies have "scissor-like mouthparts that cut into skin." Horse flies prey on other insects, livestock and, given the opportunity, people. A bite on or near your eye can cause swelling and discomfort. Fortunately, most bites heal on their own within a day or two. In the meantime, alleviate a swollen eyelid with these tips.

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  1. Evaluate your reaction to determine if medical help is required. If you are experiencing nausea, dizziness, shortness of breath, confusion, rapid heartbeat or swelling of the lips or throat you may be experiencing an allergic reaction to the bite. Call 911 or contact medical help immediately.

  2. Alleviate pain and swelling by placing a gel ice pack onto your eyelid. Keep your eye closed and hold the pack in place for 10 minutes.

  3. Apply hydrocortisone carefully to your eyelid area. Massage into the skin being careful not to get any cream into your eyes. Repeat several times throughout the day until the symptoms subside.

  4. Take an over-the-counter antihistamine. Allergy medicine will help to reduce the swelling and pain of the bite. Follow the manufacturer's directions for use and dosage.

  5. Warning

    If the bite swells to larger than two inches in diameter, contact a medical professional. If the symptoms persist or worsen, see a doctor.

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Things You'll Need

  • Gel ice pack
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Antihistamine

About the Author

Ava Perez

Ava Perez cut her journalism teeth in 2005 while balancing her university studies with a voracious appetite for fashion, music and beauty. Her music reviews, interviews and editorials have been published in numerous magazines worldwide. She specializes in writing beauty, health and fitness-related articles for various websites. Perez holds a Bachelor of Arts in communications from York University.

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