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Dr. Chan
Dr. Chan, Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 356
Experience:  Board Certified in ophthalmology
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One of my eyelids has swollen to the size of a golf ball

Resolved Question:

One of my eyelids has swollen to the size of a golf ball approximately 7-8 times in the last 2 years. It is preceded by mild itching and a slightly increased sticky discharge. This occurs in my right eye EVERY time and goes away without any treatment (I have tried allergy drops, Benedryl, etc with no noticable difference) within 48 hours. The eyeball itself is not red or irritated. I do wear contacts but do not sleep in them because I seem to have a high amount of build-up on them if I sleep in them. Any ideas about why only one eyelid would consistently swell every 3-4 months?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Chan replied 8 years ago.


When it is swollen, can you feel a hard knot?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.
No, there is no knot, just a very puffy, soft swelling which does not allow me to open my eye.
Expert:  Dr. Chan replied 8 years ago.

Does the lid turn red? Is is sore to the touch?

Customer: replied 8 years ago.

I would say that it is only as red and sore as you would expect tissue to be when it is very swollen. It is not hot and very sore as I would think would come with infection. There is a mild redness and soreness only.

Expert:  Dr. Chan replied 8 years ago.


It may be an allergy that causes the lid to swell. You would have the itching and drainage. And it would clear up quickly.

Another possibility is that it is related to the sinus connection. In some people, there is a connection from the sinus passage to the eye socket. Some people can blow their nose and cause their eye to bulge out. Sneezing or blowing nose or sinus infection can cause the eyelid to swell up like that. This would just be air in the tissue and would feel soft. There is no treatment necessary for this.

Finally, rarely some have an enlarged vein in their eyesocket (called orbital varix). Straining can cause the vein to enlarge temporarily. This can cause the lid to swell or the eye to bulge out.

You should have an eye doctor look next time it happens.

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