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Eyelid problems may be caused by irritation or infection. Common
symptoms are redness, swelling, itching, and excess tearing; some drainage may
also be present.
Common symptoms of a
stye (hordeolum) include swelling and tenderness or a
tender lump on the eyelid with occasional discharge from the lump. A
chalazion is a small, hard lump that forms on the
Skin problems, such as
eczema and seborrheic dermatitis, can affect the
eyelids, causing redness along the eyelid border or flaking from the eyelashes
(blepharitis). Allergens, such as pollen and animal
dander, may irritate the eye. People who have skin problems and allergies often
have ongoing minor problems with the skin of their eyelids and allergic
irritation of the eyes.
Eyelid twitching is often caused by stress or fatigue and usually
stops on its own in a short time or improves with rest or reduced stress.
Twitches are not a cause for concern unless they persist or occur with other
symptoms that suggest nerve problems.
Drooping eyelids may be caused by injury to the nerves that control
muscle tone in the eyelids or by a neurologic disease, such as myasthenia
gravis. If the eyelids start to droop slowly over a long period of time, this
is less serious than sudden onset of drooping eyelids.
The eyelid can change size or position if the globe of the eye swells
or is pushed forward. If eyelid changes are present with any vision loss, eye
misalignment, or movement problems, an evaluation is needed.
Sometimes the lower lid turns in toward the eyeball (entropion), and
the lashes constantly irritate the surface of the eyeball. This situation may
require surgery, but it is not an emergency.
November 2, 2011
William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine & H. Michael O'Connor, MD - Emergency Medicine
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