Is iT Allergies, or Something More Serious?


​One of the most common causes for irritation of the eye leading to puffiness of the eye lids are allergies. Allergies are usually seasonal, spring or fall, and are due to environmental factors like pollens, dust, or mold.  It is also common to experience a runny nose and/or “scratchy” throat. These symptoms can be helped by allergy medication and drops. Other causes can be responsible so if your symptoms do not resolve with simple treatment begin seen by an eye specialist is warranted. Please call to schedule an appointment to determine the best treatment for you. NOTE: consult a physician before starting or changing any medication, although the trial of artificial tears is extremely low risk and can dilute irritating allergens to help make the eye feel better if a mild allergy or dry eyes are the primary cause. 

​Eye lids can also become puffy or swollen due to clogged glands in the lids that lead to small, painful bumps called styes, or chalazion if it is deeper in the eyelid. You may also have watery eyes, the sensation that something is in your eye, and increased light-sensitivity. These can occur on both the upper and lower lids and are caused by inflammation and gland blockage. These bumps might resolve on their own but can remain if not treated. It is also quite possible that if ignored, they can become permanent. 

The general recommendation for treatment includes hot compresses and gentle massage. Do NOT “pop” the stye as you could cause permanent damage. Please call for an appointment for further advice and recommendations.
More serious, though less common, options include orbital cellulitis (infection of the tissue around the eye) and ocular herpes (viral infection that can eventually damage the surface of the eye and lead to permanent vision loss). 

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