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What are the causes and treatments for swollen eyes?

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Quick Answer

Common causes of swollen eyes include allergies, eye infections, blepharitis, conjunctivitis and eye stye, and treatment options include taking over-the-counter medications, applying a warm cloth or an ice pack, and elevating the head, according to EyeHealthWeb.com. Doctors may prescribe antibiotics if eye swelling results from bacterial infection.

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Full Answer

Allergies trigger the body to release histamines, causing a person to rub his eyes, an action that leads to more histamine production and further swelling, explains EyeHealthWeb.com. Viral and bacterial eye infections may cause the tissue around the eyes and eyelids to swell. Blepharitis inflames the eyelids and results from infections, dry eyes, or irritants such as dandruff.

Viruses, bacteria, allergens, contact lenses, eye drops and irritants in the environment can cause conjunctivitis, says EyeHealthWeb.com. The infection leads to swollen, itchy and red eyes that may feel like burning. Eye styes are inflamed sebaceous glands that appear like pimples and grow close to the base of the eyelids. People with eye styes should avoid rubbing their eyes to prevent the lumps from spreading. Crying, sleeping and excessive sodium intake are other possible causes of swollen eyes.

Oral antihistamines and decongestants can help treat eye swelling caused by allergies, states EyeHealthWeb.com. To reduce swelling, it helps to avoid lying down and to maintain the head in an elevated position that promotes blood flow. A person should call a health care professional if swelling persists.

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