Swollen Eyelids in Children: Causes and Treatment


Any inflammation in the eyelids or accumulation of extra fluid in the tissues around the eyes is called swollen eyes. It is sometimes very painful and can occur both on the upper and lower eyelid. Kids are prone to a lot of things that can cause any infection, allergy or injury in the eyes which may lead to swelling, but at times the reason and condition both may get severe. So let’s look into some of the significant causes and cures for swollen eyelids.

Causes and Treatment of a Swollen Eyelid in Children

swollen eyelids

Causes of swollen eyelids in kids


It is an infection in the glands of the eye. The tear gland is the gland that gets affected usually. Red, itchy, painful swollen lumps in the eye are the common symptoms of stye. It is a very common problem and the infection occurs in one of the tear glands or an oil gland, thus it doesn’t need any specific treatment, but a warm compress can help to subside the pain.

Read More: 11 Effective Home Remedies for Conjunctivitis in Children


This resembles a stye but it is actually a swelling in the eye due to clogging in the oil gland. It gets more painful as it grows and can cause fever as well. A warm compress can help to get some relief but in case the problem gets severe, it’s better to consult a doctor.

Blockage in the tear duct

Infants and newborn babies are vulnerable to this problem. If the tear duct is blocked, one cannot shed tears properly. This inability to cry properly can cause pain and redness in the eyelids. In severe cases the eyes are sealed and shut even when the person is awake. This may keep the child uncomfortable but it is not harmful and thus it can easily be treated by applying a warm compress. But in case the blocked tear duct gets infected, the child may have fever and need antibiotics to ease the pain. In case the tear duct doesn’t open, a medical procedure will be applied by the doctor to open it.


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Children are exposed to lots of dust and pollutants while playing.  It is possible that they are intolerant to any of these pollutants. Itchy, red and watery eyes caused by allergens can cause swelling in the eyes. These allergens could be dust or pollens which cause irritation in the eyes, triggering an allergic reaction.

Excessive crying

Crying can also cause swelling in the eyes. It can lead to rupturing of the blood vessels in the eyes and the eyelids. It can also be the result of fluid retention, due to the increase in blood flow in the areas around the eyes. Since this is a result of excessive crying, this can be treated only by  calming down the child, applying cool compress and drinking lots of water.

Read More:Pink Eye in Babies: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Prevention


Orbital cellulitis is an infection deep inside the eyelids. It spreads from sinuses and occurs commonly in kids. The skin surrounding your eyes usually swell and even the eyelids have redness and painful swelling. It is a critical infection, so immediate medical attention is the best remedy for curing this infection.


Any kind of trauma or injury to the area around the eye can trigger inflammation around the eyes. So, swollen eyes can be a result of an operation of the eyes or any injury caused by hitting on the area around the eyes.



Conjunctivitis or pink eyes is a swelling of the clear lining of the surface of the eye, that is, the conjunctiva. It can be a result of allergy, viral infection or bacterial infection. The expected symptoms of conjunctivitis are watery, red and itchy eyes with swelling on the eyelids.

Rubbing of the eye

Even if you continuously rub your eyes, it can lead to swelling of the eyelids. Kids have a tendency of rubbing their eyes when any dust particle or other irritating particle enters their eyes. Intense itching can cause a minor injury on your eyelids and thus lead to temporary swelling which goes by applying warm compress.   

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Skin conditions like seborrhea leads to blepharitis. It is a kind of inflammation of the eyelids. Dandruff-like scales appear on the edges of the eyelids and the eyelids become red and itchy. Initial treatment for this involves warm compress which can be accompanied by a light scrubbing.

These are some of the common reasons which can lead to swollen eyelids in kids. In certain cases the condition can be serious and need medical attention. So, let’s look into the possible treatment for swollen eyelids in kids.

Treatment of swollen eyelids in kids

Well, it’s quite understood that the treatment of any problem depends on the underlying cause of the problem. Generally eye doctors suggest some eye drops as a treatment for swollen eyes. But let’s look into it more specifically.

  • In case the reason of swollen eyelids is any kind of allergy, oral anti-allergic medicines, antihistamine eye drops and lubricating artificial tears can be the best remedy to combat the symptoms. If the allergy is severe, doctors recommend the use of mild steroid drops.
  • If the reason behind your swollen eyelids is any kind of infection such as conjunctivitis; antiviral and anti-inflammatory eye drops and ointments can help to cure this problem. Some doctors also recommend the use of antibiotics.
  • If your child is light sensitive, the sun rays can be a reason for inflammation. Photochromic lenses can be an aid to this problem.
  • If the swelling is due to constant rubbing of the eyes, simple home remedies such as applying a warm compress can be of great help. At times splashing cold water on closed eyelids or applying cold compress can be a great remedy for the same.
  • If the symptoms continue to appear, it’s preferable to seek medical attention. The doctor can diagnose any severe condition and give appropriate medication.

These are some of the treatments for swollen eyelids in kids, but prevention is always better than cure. Let’s look into some measures we can take to prevent swollen eyelids.

  • Warn your kids to avoid rubbing of the eyes. Tell them the consequences of the same.
  • Don’t let them touch their eyes with unhygienic eyes.
  • Get your kid tested for any kind of allergies. This will help you know about the things you should warn your kid to stay away from.

Read More: Common Allergies among Children: Causes and Tips to Avoid


Swollen eyelids in kids may not be a very hectic affair and can be easily cured. But the initial pain that your child has to go through can be dimmed by the treatment methods mentioned above. Visiting the doctor can always be a great attempt as the doctor can tell you the exact problem and clear all your doubts. There are numerous reasons for swollen eyelids in kids, so as aware parents it becomes a responsibility to check any such kind of symptoms which can become major later on. Also, awareness and good care is the key to proper parenting. Happy parenting!

Hope this article was of help for all our parents!! Please share your comments/queries/tips with us and help us create a world full of Happy and Healthy Babies!!