Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors

"What would make my eyes swell up?"

ZocdocAnswersWhat would make my eyes swell up?


Starting within this year, I notice that only my right eye would swell up slightly below my eye. Sometimes, it would be in the middle of the day or just when I wake up. I have never had this problem before, nor have I ever had an type of allergies. I was just wondering what could possibly lead to my eye to swell up


Thanks for your question. I recommend speaking with your doctor. Facial and eye swelling of any sort has a finite number of causes in most situations. You have already mentioned one of the most common, namely allergies, that can lead to swelling in many people. This is less likely to just affect one side of the body unless you are treating that eye differently for some reason (such as just applying drops to that eye). Another common explanation for what you are describing is due to blood flow. Sometimes, having poor blood or lymphatic drainage from one side of the body can result in increased swelling in that area. This is sometimes seen in people who have scarring or have had radiation on one side of their body, as the blood return can be slowed down significantly. This may be seen in a lesser degree if there is just one side of the body that a person sleeps on, as gravity can have a similar effect to a less remarkable level in some people. Infections or tumors of the eye and the sinus immediately underneath can also relate in one sided swelling, although these are usually associated with other symptoms. Again, please speak with your doctor about this.

Zocdoc Answers 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 (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.