What are red eyelids?

Red eyelids can result from any condition that irritates, inflames or infects the eyelid. Allergies, infections, and even crying can cause your eyelids to redden. Red eyelids may also result from trauma to the eye area. Red eyelids are commonly associated with other symptoms like itching, swelling, irritation, bumps, increased tearing, or discharge.

Allergies are a very common cause of red eyelids. An allergy that affects your eyelid may be local, such as an allergic reaction to eye makeup, or more generalized, such as hay fever. Allergies that involve the membrane lining the inside of your eyelids and covering the whites of the eyes are called allergic conjunctivitis.

Infections or inflammations of the eyelid margin, the area near your eyelashes, are also frequent causes of red eyelids. These conditions include blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelid margin), chalazion (inflammation of a blocked oil gland in the eyelid margin), and stye or hordeolum (localized bacterial infection of an oil gland or eyelash follicle in the eyelid margin).

Most conditions that affect the eyelids do not threaten your life or vision, and red eyelids usually get better on their own within a few days. In rare cases, red eyelids can be associated with anaphylaxis, a life-threatening allergic reaction, or orbital cellulitis, a serious infection of the skin around the eyes. Because your eyes and vision are vital to your quality of life, be sure to contact your health care provider if you have any eye symptoms that cause you concern.

Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if your red eyelid symptoms are accompanied by more serious symptoms including high fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit), eye pain, sudden vision changes, double vision, difficulty breathing or wheezing, or sudden swelling of the face, lips and tongue.

Seek prompt medical care if your red eyelids are persistent, recurrent, or cause you concern.


What other symptoms might occur with red eyelid?

Depending on the cause of your red eyelids, other parts of your body may also show symptoms of illness. A variety of symptoms can commonly occur along with red eyelids.

Common symptoms that may occur along with red eyelids

Red eyelids may accompany other common symptoms including:


What causes red eyelids?

Anything that injures, irritates or inflames the eyelid can cause red eyelids. Your eyelids are very sensitive and well supplied with blood vessels and nerves, so even minor irritation or inflammation can cause reddening.

Inflammations or infections that commonly cause red eyelids include allergies, blepharitis (infection or inflammation of the edge of the eyelid), chalazion (bloc... Read more about red eyelidscauses

Medical Reviewer: All content has been reviewed by board-certified physicians under the direction of Rich Klasco, M.D., FACEP. Last Annual Review Date: May 2, 2011 Copyright: © Copyright 2011 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Eyes and Vision

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