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Dr. James
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
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Experience:  Eye Physician and Surgeon
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my sons eyelid (right side) is swollen and he says his eye

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my son's eyelid (right side) is swollen and he says his eye hurts. This has happened a couple of times and has gone away and come back (lasting each time several hours to a day). The swelling is visible - the eye looks puffy but is not abcessed, and there is no crust or scaling. I saw a doctor and she said it wasn't conjunctivitis or an infection. I have tried oral antihistamines, advil and hot and cold compresses.
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. James replied 5 years ago.
HelloCustomer

When did the swelling start? Is it the upper and lower eyelid? How does the eyeball look underneath the swollen eyelids? Is there a bump anywhere on the eyelid?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The first occurence was about a month and a half ago. We assumed it was allergies and it went away quickly (he's seven). But it's come back a couple of times (always going away) - at first it seemed to respond to antihistamine but now seems to do so less. I notice more swelling in the upper eyelid than the lower. What's strange is that it goes away a week or more then recurs. The eye definitely looks puffy and smaller than the other eye, and the under-eye area is purplish. The eye is slightly bloodshot but not very red. The inner corner is slightly but not very swollen. The eye is neither dry nor excessively tearing. No bump as far as I can tell. The doctor we saw said she didn't really know and that we should see an optomologist - we will do so but we're on holiday and away from our doctor and it will also take a while to get an appointment (we're in Canada and everything moves slowly). Thanks for your help - I'm hoping I can get a little clarity in the meantime.
Expert:  Dr. James replied 5 years ago.
Thank you for the additional information.

Allergies is a possibility, however, it is unusual to have it only on one side. He could also underlying irritation and constant eye rubbing can cause it to swell suddently.

Another possibilty is blepharitis. This is inflammation of the eyelids, at the bases of the eyelashes. This would require cleaning at the bases of the eyelashes with dilute baby shampoo in warm water. You can use a cotton tip applicator to scrub at the bases of the lashes.

For the acute swelling, I would continue the antihistamine and cool compresses. I does not appear to to be an infection. If it gets worse such as swelling does not allow you to open the eyelids easily, fever, increasing pain, he may need urgent evaluation for antibiotics.

Remember to press the green accept button. It was a pleasure helping you with your question. Best wishes to you. Smile
Dr. James, Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 2282
Experience: Eye Physician and Surgeon
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