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What causes chronic swelling of the upper eyelids?

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Chronic swelling of the upper eyelids may be caused by a local allergy due to contact sensitivity, a systemic allergy that is accompanied by allergic rhinitis or an eyelid disorder, explains Merck Manual. Common eyelid disorders that can produce chronic swelling of the upper eyelids include eyelid tumors, burns, trauma or a skull fracture. Severe disorders such as orbital cellulitis and cavernous sinus thrombosis can also cause swelling.

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Eyelid erythema and edema also cause chronic swelling of the upper eyelids, according to American Family Physician. Patients with swollen upper eyelids should seek medical attention to determine the cause and treatment.

Treatment for eyelid disorders and allergens causing swelling of the upper eyelids is focused on evaluating symptoms and treating the underlying cause, according to Merck Manual. Medical professionals evaluate accompanying symptoms such as an apparent rash, itching, a runny nose, wheezing and nasal congestion. Patients with swelling caused by allergies may experience a headache and nasal discharge. Physicians also evaluate past medical conditions such as heart, renal, thyroid or liver disease as well as recent surgeries or eye injuries to determine the cause of swelling of the upper eyelids.

Serious symptoms that require immediate medical attention include loss of visual acuity, proptosis, impaired extraocular movements and fever, explains Merck Manual.

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