Why Is My Eyelid Swollen or Sore? How To Treat a Swollen Eyelid in Knoxville, TN

why is my upper eyelid swollen

*This article has been updated since its original publication on January 11, 2019

A swollen or sore eyelid can ruin your entire day. It can make it difficult to focus your vision as well as your mind, and every movement of your eye can become uncomfortable or even painful. To find relief, you need to know why your eyelid is swollen or sore. Keep reading our editorial to learn about possible causes, treatment, and other severe symptoms to watch out for.swollen eyelids in the morning

Swollen or sore eyelids can occur for a number of reasons. Common causes include chalazions, styes, infections, allergies, conjunctivitis, and dry eye. Treatment can vary depending on the cause of your condition, so it’s important to see your ophthalmologist for a diagnosis. Swollen or sore eyelids can include other symptoms, some of which are a sign of a more serious problem that requires immediate medical attention.

Why Is My Eyelid Swollen or Sore?

Your ophthalmologist will be able to determine the cause of your problem and provide medical treatment, allowing you to see clearly and comfortably. They will also be able to provide additional information to help prevent swollen or sore eyes from recurring in the future.


A chalazion is a lump in the eyelid that can lead to swelling and soreness. They occur when an oil gland in the eyelid becomes blocked, resulting in oil retention and the formation of a cyst. These growths are more common on the inside of the upper eyelid but can develop on the bottom as well.


A stye is a common issue that causes swelling and soreness. It begins as a small infection at the base of an eyelash, causing swelling and redness around the edge of the eyelid. While it looks like it’s filled with pus, the inflammation and infection actually spread back to cause swelling and soreness of the entire eyelid.


Soreness and swelling are common symptoms of a viral or bacterial infection of the eyelid. Infections under the skin come in many forms, including:

  • Cellulitis
  • Impetigo
  • Erysipelas

Infections can also occur if your skin was broken somehow, such as an injury or insect bite. Other conditions such as eczema, chickenpox, and shingles can lead to an infection of your eyelid.


Allergic reactions are caused by your body trying to protect itself from foreign elements. Unfortunately, this can also result in your eyes becoming swollen, sore, red, and itchy. The skin of your eyelids is more stretchable than other parts of your body resulting in more dramatic allergic reactions.


Commonly known as pink eye, conjunctivitis occurs when the conjunctiva (the membrane that covers the white of your eye) becomes inflamed. This can be due to allergies, infection, or something coming into contact with the eye. While redness is the most common symptom, swelling and soreness can also occur.

Click here to learn more about pink eye!

Dry Eye

Dry eye can cause swollen eyelids due to a lack of lubrication on the surface of your eyes. When healthy, your eyes are moistened when you blink. Unfortunately, a lack of moisture will result in eyes that feel dry and irritated. In more severe cases, swelling and redness can occur.

Can humidifiers help with dry eye? Click here to find out!

How To Treat a Swollen or Sore Eyelid in Knoxville, TNhow to treat swollen eyelid

The treatment you receive for a swollen or sore eyelid in Knoxville, TN, will depend on its cause. For instance, conjunctivitis can be caused by allergies or by a viral or bacterial infection. You can clean the affected eyelids with cotton and warm water with viral infections clearing up on their own. However, bacterial infections will require medication to get rid of the infection. 

Chalazions can also be treated at home in many cases. You can use warm compresses to heal the growth and bring relief. This helps promote the secretion of oil and undoes the blockage. Doing this three to five times a day will promote the healing process. Your eye doctor may recommend eye drops or ointments, and severe cases may require an in-office procedure.

The most important thing is to talk to your Knoxville ophthalmologist whenever you experience eye problems. They will be able to provide sound medical advice and a diagnosis, helping you get the relief you need to see clearly and comfortably.

Sore or Swollen Eyelid Symptoms

Having eyelid swelling or soreness can be the primary symptom of an eye condition. They can also be accompanied by other secondary symptoms such as: 

  • Redness
  • Irritation
  • Inflammation
  • Itchiness
  • Pain
  • Swelling
  • Discharge

But these aren’t the only other symptoms you may experience. In some cases, your symptoms may be a sign of a much more severe issue. Seek medical attention immediately if you experience: 

  • Blurry vision
  • Vision loss
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Bloody discharge from the eye
  • Inability to keep your eye open
  • Feeling like something is stuck in your eye
  • Severe pain
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Fever

Our team of Knoxville eye doctors will be able to provide you with the advice, diagnosis, or treatment you need if these symptoms are present. They will help preserve your sight and restore your eye to its previously comfortable state.

Do you need treatment for a sore or swollen eyelid in Knoxville, TN? Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

You can develop swollen or sore eyelids for a variety of reasons. Chalazions, styes, infections, allergies, pink eye, and dry eye are all common causes. It’s important to talk to your eye doctor since you will need a diagnosis in order to receive the correct treatment. Other symptoms can accompany swollen or sore eyelids, and some can point to an even more severe condition.

Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice in Knoxville, TN, and Morristown, TN. Give us a call at 865-579-3920 for more information or to schedule an appointment.

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