ZocdocAnswersWhy is my eyelid swelling?

Question

Why is my eyelid swelling?

For years I've always thought that my right eyelid was a little bit bigger than my left eyelid. Now it just looks swollen constantly and it is definitely noticeable because my friend asked me about it. What could this be? I've tried a lot of different things but it won't go away!

Answer

Since this is something that has been going on for quite some time, you should definitely seek medical evaluation from your doctor. I would probably start by setting up an visit with your primary care doctor who can help figure out what is going on, as there are several possibilities. One possibility is that you have a condition called blepharitis, which is an inflammation of the edge of the eyelid right where the eyelashes grow out. Often there is redness and crusting drainage from the eyelid, in addition to swelling. Similarly, you could have a stye, which is essentially a blocked gland at the edge of the eyelid. Both blepharitis and styes are generally easy to treat, often just with warm compresses and perhaps a topical antibiotic ointment, depending on what your doctor recommends. Another condition which is often confused with eyelid swelling is something called ptosis, which is actually not swelling at all but rather eyelid lag. This can occur for several reasons, but most commonly involves some damage to or swelling of the nerve that controls the eyelid. Most of the time, this is a benign condition that doesn't need much treatment, but occasionally it can be an early sign of a serious problem, such as a tumor pressing on the nerve, so you need to have it checked out by your doctor.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.