You may have blepharitis, which is an inflammation of the eyelids. There are several causes of blepharitis, from allergy to dry skin, bacterial infection to demodex.
Allergy is usually accompanied by itching and watering of the eyes, but sometimes it can just be they feel irritated and look red.
People with dry skin are mostly aware of the problem due to the accompanying flakiness around the eyebrows or dandruff on the scalp, but often the dryness can manifest itself around the eyelids and cause dryness, redness and flaking on the eyelashes which can enter the eye and cause irritation.
Bacterial blepharitis is often mistaken for conjunctivitis. It will go away with antibiotic eye drops but returns soon after you finish the course. Just like in our gut area, bacteria are meant to live in our tears and eyelids, but when the bacteria overpopulate the environment, the eyelids can react by swelling and turning red and sometimes producing excess mucus to protect themselves thus causing the eyes to feel sticky and look bad.
Then we have demodex, little mites that live in the base of the hair all over our body. These little beasties are not normally a problem, but occasionally the ones living in the base of our eyelashes have a party, invite all their friends and family who won’t leave, but make a mess. Again, the eyelids swell, go red, can get sticky and eventually can cause the eyelashes to grow inwards, scratching the eye, or falling out altogether.
So, which one are you?
Call us here at Dry Eye WA for an appointment to see what treatment is available for your type of red swollen eyelids.