Discover the underlying causes of the swollen eyelids and discover how to reduce swelling and recover a fresh and youthful appearance.

Discover the underlying causes of the swollen eyelids and discover how to reduce swelling and recover a fresh and youthful appearance.

File of the eyelids may be due to several factors, from allergies to underlying diseases. Understanding the underlying causes is crucial to determine the appropriate treatment for this condition.

Allergies: A common cause of swollen eyelids are allergies. When exposed to allergens such as pollen, dust mites or domestic animals, the immune system releases histamines that cause an allergic reaction. This reaction can cause swelling, redness and itching in the eyelids, with the consequent swollen appearance. Allergic reactions can be seasonal or produced throughout the year, depending on the specific allergen and the sensitivity of the individual.

  • Pollen allergies, dust mites and domestic animals can cause swollen eyelids.
  • The release of histamines by the immune system causes allergic reactions.
  • Symptoms may include swelling, redness and itching in the eyelids.

Infections: Infections can also contribute to the swelling of the eyelids. Bacterial or viral infections, such as conjunctivitis, can cause inflammation in the eyelids. Inflammation can lead to fluid retention, which causes swelling. In addition to swelling, infected eyelids can red, chop and suppurate. Adequate hygiene and time treatment with antibiotics or antiviral medications can help relieve symptoms and reduce swelling of the eyelids.

  • Infections such as conjunctivitis can cause swelling in the eyelids.
  • Inflammation caused by infections can cause fluid and swelling retention.
  • Redness, itching and secretion are common symptoms of infected eyelids.

Diseases: Certain medical conditions can also contribute to the swelling of the eyelids. Hypothyroidism, for example, is a disease in which the thyroid gland does not produce enough hormones. This hormonal imbalance can cause fluid retention in the body, including eyelids. Other conditions such as blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids), dermatitis and sinusitis can also cause swelling of the eyelids. The treatment of underlying disease usually helps relieve symptoms.

  • Hypothyroidism can cause fluid retention in the body, including eyelids.
  • Blefaritis, dermatitis and sinusitis are other medical conditions that can cause swollen eyelids.
  • The treatment of the underlying disease can help reduce the swelling of the eyelids.

Causes of swollen eyelids

Allergic reactions: A common cause of swollen eyelids is an allergic reaction. When the body’s immune system reacts to certain substances, such as pollen, domestic animals dandruff or certain cosmetics, it can cause inflammation and swelling in the eyelids. The most frequent symptoms are itching, redness and tear.

  • Pollen allergies, domestic animal dandruff or dust mites
  • Sensitivity to certain cosmetics or skin care products
  • Insect bites or bites

Note: It is important to identify the specific allergen that triggers the reaction, since avoiding exposure to it can help minimize swollen eyelids in the future.

Liquid retention: fluid retention, also known as water or edema retention, may be another cause of swollen eyelids. When the body retains excess fluid, it can accumulate in various parts of the body, including eyelids. This may be due to factors such as

  1. High salt consumption
  2. Poor lymphatic drainage
  3. Hormonal changes, such as menstruation or pregnancy
  4. Medical conditions such as kidney or cardiac problems

Note: Reducing salt consumption, treating underlying diseases and adopting a healthy lifestyle can help relieve fluid retention and reduce swollen eyelids.

Cutaneous infections: certain skin infections can also cause swollen eyelids. Bacterial or viral infections can cause inflammation and swelling in the eyelids. Conditions such as blepharitis (inflammation of the edge of the eyelid) or cellulite (skin infection) can cause swollen, red and sensitive eyelids.

Common skin infections:
Herpes simple herpes virus infection (VHS)

Note: To control and solve the skin infections that cause swollen eyelids it is necessary to receive immediate medical care and proper treatment.

Allergies and Irritants

When an allergen comes into contact with the eyes, the organism releases histamine and other chemical substances as a defense mechanism, causing inflammation and irritation. This can cause the eyelids to appear swollen and swollen. Common symptoms associated with allergic reactions include itching, redness, tearing and burning sensation in the eyes.


  • Allergens such as pollen, pet dandruff, dust and mold mites.
  • Histamine release and immune response
  • Inflammation and irritation
  • Swollen eyelids, itching, redness, tearing and burning sensation in the eyes

Allergic reactions may vary in gravity depending on the sensitivity of the individual to allergen. Some people may experience mild symptoms that only affect the eyelids, while others may have more generalized allergic reactions that affect other parts of the body. It is important to identify the specific allergens that cause the reaction to effectively control and prevent recurrent symptoms.

Irritants can also contribute to the swelling of the eyelids. They can be substances such as certain makeup products, contact lens solutions and chemical products present in home cleaning products. When these irritants come into contact with the delicate skin that surrounds the eyes, they can cause irritation and swelling. People who frequently come into contact with irritating can develop chronic swelling and inflammation of the eyelids.


  • Makeup products, contact lenses and domestic cleaning products.
  • Irritation and swelling of the delicate skin that surrounds the eyes
  • Swelling and inflammation of the eyelids

Comparison of allergies and irritating as causes of swollen eyelids
Allergies Irritating
Caused by allergens such as pollen, pet dandruff, dust and mold mites. Caused by substances such as makeup products, contact lenses and domestic cleaning products.
Immune response and histamine release Irritation of the delicate skin that surrounds the eyes
It can cause itching, redness, tear and feeling of burning in the eyes Can cause swelling and chronic inflammation of the eyelids

Lack of Sleep and Fatigue

When we do not sleep enough, the natural repair processes of our body are hindered, and this includes the ability of the skin to regenerate and cure. The body exhausted and with excess of work can retain excess fluids, which causes swelling and inflammation in several areas, including eyelids. In addition, lack of sleep can cause an increase in blood flow to the skin, which can lead to a dilation of blood vessels and a more prominent appearance of dark circles.

Effects of Lack of Sleep and Fatigue on the Skin:

  • Swollen eyelids
  • Inflammation and swelling
  • Prominent dark circles
  • Dilated blood vessels

Not only does the amount of sleep matter, but also quality. A poor sleep quality can further aggravate the problem of swollen eyelids. When we do not get a deep and reparative sleep, the ability of our body to repair is compromised, which causes an increase in fluid retention and inflammation.

To relieve puffy eyelids caused by lack of sleep and fatigue, it is essential to prioritize getting enough restful sleep. Establishing a consistent sleep schedule, creating a sleep-friendly environment, and practicing relaxation techniques can help improve sleep quality. Additionally, making lifestyle changes, such as reducing caffeine consumption, managing stress levels, and exercising regularly, can help you sleep better and reduce eyelid puffiness.

Fluid Retention and Swelling

Causes of fluid retention:

  1. Poor lymphatic drainage: The lymphatic system plays a vital role in removing excess fluid and waste from the body. When the lymphatic system is affected, fluid can build up, causing swelling and swollen eyelids.
  2. Fluid imbalance: Imbalances in the body’s fluid levels, such as low protein levels or high sodium intake, can disrupt the body’s ability to regulate fluids and cause fluid retention.
  3. Medications: Certain medications, such as corticosteroids, hormonal contraceptives, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), can cause fluid retention as a side effect.

Note: It is important to consult with a healthcare professional if you experience persistent or severe fluid retention, as it may be indicative of an underlying medical condition.

Signs and symptoms of fluid retention:

  • Swollen eyelids
  • Swollen ankles, feet or hands
  • Tight or shiny skin
  • Increased abdominal perimeter
  • Weight fluctuations
  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath

To effectively treat fluid retention and reduce puffy eyelids, it is essential to identify and treat the underlying cause. In close collaboration with a healthcare professional, appropriate diagnostic tests and treatment options can be explored to relieve symptoms and promote overall well-being.

Age and Skin Elasticity

Aging and skin elasticity: Skin elasticity refers to the skin’s ability to stretch and regain its original shape. It is determined mainly by the presence of collagen and elastin fibers in the skin. Collagen provides strength and structure, while elastin allows skin to bounce back after stretching. However, as we age, collagen and elastin production decreases, causing a loss of skin elasticity.

Chart: Age-related changes in skin elasticity

Age Effects on skin elasticity
20s Firm and elastic skin
30s Some loss of elasticity, expression lines may begin to appear
40s More noticeable loss of elasticity, wrinkles begin to deepen
50s Significant loss of elasticity, flaccid skin becomes more prominent.
  • The decrease in skin elasticity can cause the delicate skin to be more susceptible to swelling and inflammation.
  • As the skin loses its recovery capacity, it may not effectively retain liquids and fat deposits, which causes the appearance of swollen eyelids.
  • In addition to aging, other factors such as genetics, allergies and lifestyle can also contribute to the swelling of the eyelids.

The relationship between age and skin elasticity is evident, and understanding how these changes occur can help clarify the causes of swollen eyelids. Although it is impossible to completely stop the aging process, there are several routines and skin care treatments that can help minimize its effects.

Sinus Congestion and Infections

Sinus congestion occurs when there is an accumulation of mucus and inflammation in the sinuses. This may be due to various factors, such as allergies, colds or other respiratory infections. When breasts are congested, people may experience symptoms such as facial pressure, headache, nasal congestion and decreased meaning of smell.

Sinusal congestion symptoms:

  • Facial pressure
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion
  • Decrease in smell

Sinusal infections, also known as sinusitis, occur when bacteria or viruses invade blocked breasts and cause an infection. This can cause additional symptoms, such as facial pain, thick nasal secretion of yellow or green, bad breath and fatigue. Sinus infections can be acute, short duration, or chronic, weeks or even months.

Usual symptoms of sinus infections

  1. Facial pain
  2. Yellow or green thick nasal secretion
  3. Bad breath
  4. Fatigue

In some cases, congestion and sinus infections can be treated effectively with free sales medications, nasal irrigation and home remedies. However, serious or chronic cases may require medical intervention, such as the prescription of oral antibiotics or steroids, to relieve symptoms and promote healing.

Causes of sinus congestion: Causes of sinus infections:
Allergies Bacterial invasion
Colds and respiratory infections Viral invasion
Nasal polyps Fungal invasion

Causes of Puffy Eyelids: Hormonal Changes and Imbalances

Hormones are chemical messengers that regulate numerous body processes, such as metabolism, growth and reproduction. In relation to swollen eyelids, hormonal changes can alter the delicate balance of fluid regulation in the body, causing fluid and swelling retention. These changes may be due to natural processes such as puberty, menstrual cycles, pregnancy and menopause, as well as certain medical conditions or medications.

The regulation of liquids in the body is influenced by hormonal signals. Hormones such as estrogens and progesterone can cause fluid retention, which translates into swollen eyelids during menstrual cycles or pregnancy. Similarly, hormonal fluctuations experienced during menopause can contribute to the development of swollen eyelids in some people.

In addition to hormonal changes, imbalances can also influence the appearance of swollen eyelids. Hormonal imbalances can occur when there is an excess or deficiency of certain hormones in the body. Conditions such as hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism, which affect the function of the thyroid gland, can alter hormonal levels and contribute to fluid retention. Similarly, hormonal imbalances associated with conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome (SOP) or adrenal gland disorders can also cause the appearance of swollen eyelids.

Hormonal changes and imbalances: Causes of swollen eyelids
Menstrual cycles Fluid retention
Pregnancy Estrogen and progesterone fluctuations
Menopause Hormonal fluctuations
Thyroid disorders (hypothyroidism/hyperthyroidism) Altered hormonal levels
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (SOP) Hormonal imbalances
Adrenal gland disorders Hormonal imbalances

Eye Injuries and Trauma

Common causes of eye injuries:

  1. Trauma by forceful object: This occurs when an object hits the eye, such as a ball or a fist, causing swelling, bruises or even fracture of the bones that surround the eye.
  2. Penetrating lesions: sharp objects, such as glass or metal fragments, can penetrate the eye and cause important damage to internal structures.
  3. Chemical burns: exposure to certain chemical substances, such as acids or alkalis, can cause immediate damage to the eye, with the consequent pain, redness and vision alterations.
  4. Foreign bodies: particles, remains or small objects that enter the eye can cause irritation, scratches in the cornea and a possible infection if they do not retire quickly.

Immediate medical care is crucial in cases of eye injuries to avoid major damage and preserve vision. Do not try to treat serious eye injuries at home. Instead, look for emergency medical attention.

Ocular lesions can have varying degrees of gravity, depending on the strength, nature of the timely medical intervention. Some minor injuries, such as superficial scratches on the surface of the eye, may require only symptomatic relief and sel f-care measures. However, the most serious injuries, such as fractures, deep lacerations or chemical burns, require immediate evaluation and treatment by an ophthalmologist or an emergency health professional.

Excessive Alcohol and Salt Consumption: Potential Causes of Puffy Eyelids

Alcohol consumption can cause dehydration, as it acts as a diuretic, causing an increase in urine production. This can alter the body’s liquid balance and cause swelling of various parts of the body, including eyelids. In addition, excessive alcohol consumption can delay blood vessels, which causes blood accumulation and fluid retention. These factors contribute to the appearance of swollen eyelids.

Important information:

  • Alcohol acts as a diuretic, causing dehydration and imbalance of liquids.
  • Excessive alcohol intake can cause dilation of blood vessels, contributing to the accumulation of blood and fluid retention.
  • Liquid retention caused by alcohol consumption can cause swollen eyelids.

Salt consumption is also a usual guilty of swollen eyelids. High levels of sodium in the body can cause fluid and swelling retention throughout the body, including the delicate skin that surrounds the eyes. When sodium intake exceeds the body’s ability to excrete it, the liquid accumulates in the tissues, causing swelling and swelling.

Important information:

  1. High levels of sodium in the body can cause fluid and swelling retention.
  2. Excessive sodium intake can cause the accumulation of fluid in the tissues surrounding the eyes, giving rise to swollen eyelids.

Understanding the impact of excessive consumption of alcohol and salt on fluid retention provides valuable information about the possible causes of swollen eyelids. Limit alcohol intake and reduce sodium consumption can help relieve swelling and promote ocular health in general.

Author of the article
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Dr.Greenblatt M.
Medical oncologist at the Robert Larner College of Medicine, MD, at the University of Vermont

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