ZocdocAnswersWhat would make my under-eye swell?

Question

What would make my under-eye swell?

I woke up this morning with my eye swollen. My lids are not swollen and there is not pain. I do have seasonal allergies and I took my allergy medicine and there was no change I also tried Ice and ibuprofen and still no change what would cause the swelling?

Answer

You should go see your doctor right away. There is at least one very serious cause of eye swelling, called cellulitis, which needs to be ruled out. Cellulitis is a generic medical term for bacterial infection of the skin, but cellulitis around the eye needs particularly close attention and aggressive treatment, because the infection can spread backwards towards the eye and, even, in rare cases, through they eye socket towards the brain. Your doctor should be able to tell quickly whether or not this is a cellulitis and, if so, they can help you decide which antibiotics are needed to treat the infection. In some serious cases, it may be necessary to be hospitalized for intravenous antibiotics until the infection gets under control. If your doctor feels that this is not cellulitis, then they will be able to consider alternative possibilities, which could include a simple viral infection of the eye, such as conjunctivitis, as well as allergic exposures. These conditions can generally be treated with simple measures, such as topical medications and warm compresses, as well as good hygiene to prevent spread of infection (in the case of conjunctivitis). Please contact your doctor's office as soon as you can.

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

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