Some of the causes of swollen and painful eyelids include allergies, a stye, pink eye and cellulitis, according to Troy Bedinghaus for About.com. Graves' disease or eye herpes may also cause swollen or painful eyelids.
The most common reason for pain and swelling of the eyelids is allergies, explains Bedinghaus. Eye allergies can cause a lot of discomfort and may disrupt daily activities. A stye may also cause inflammation and pain, and become itchy and red. A stye may make an individual's eye sensitive to light.
Pink eye often causes swelling and pain in the eye, and this condition may occur due to bacteria or a virus, states Bedinghaus. With pink eye, in addition to redness, the eyelids often become itchy and may stick together due to mucus production. Cellulitis is a serious cause of eyelid swelling and pain, and this condition occurs due to a bacteria, which may invade the area around the eye socket.
Graves' disease is a thyroid condition, and one of the symptoms is eyelid swelling, notes Bedinghaus. Graves' disease may also cause bulging eyes, and usually both eyelids appear swollen instead of one. Eyelid swelling may also occur due to a herpes infection of the eye. When this happens, the cornea develops inflammation, and may also cause painful sores on the surface of the eye or eyelid.