Eyes that are chronically red and swollen may indicate that you have a medical condition called blepharitis. Inflamed, crusty and/or greasy eyelids, excessive tearing, dry eyes, red eyes, light sensitivity and eyelash loss are also characteristic of blepharitis. Swollen eyes caused by this condition occurs due to malfunctioning of the oil glands that grow along your lash line and can be the result of such conditions as rosacea, allergies, seborrheic dermatitis and lash mites. Once diagnosed, blepharitis usually requires a long-term plan of care directed by your physician, as it's generally chronic in nature and tends to recur even when treated. Home remedies for swollen eyes related to blepharitis include strategies that incorporate daily self-care.
Clean your eyelids daily. Integrative physician Dr. Andrew Weil advises applying a warm, damp washcloth to the affected eyes to loosen up the crust that can form along your lash line. With a cotton swab dipped in warm water, gently remove flakes around the delicate skin around the lashes. Weil suggests doing this twice daily.
Use over-the-counter artificial tears or lubricating drops. If your eyes are dry, this can provide temporary relief.
Add black currant or evening primrose oil to your diet. If blepharitis is caused by dermatitis or rosacea, Weil suggests a dose of 500 mg twice daily for six to eight weeks. When you notice overall improvement, cut the dosage in half. Contained in these supplements is gamma-linolenic acid (GLA), which moisturizes your skin and hair.
Apply a topical treatment. Sooth swollen eyes with an application of calendula ointment or by applying wet tea bags to the eyes, Weil advises. First, submerge tea bags in hot water and allow them to cool completely before using them as a compress. Either regular (black) or chamomile tea bags are acceptable.
Swollen eyes caused by blepharitis are caused by different underlying medical conditions than puffy, baggy eyes, where no redness, irritation and other symptoms are present.
If dandruff is the cause of blepharitis, talk to your doctor about which dandruff shampoo to use, advises MayoClinic.com experts.
Don't let swollen eyes go ignored; blepharitis can cause complications such as chronic pink eye, sties, scarring of the eyelids and lashes that grow in at odd angles, cautions MayoClinic.com. Only a doctor can examine your eyes, conduct the appropriate tests and diagnose this condition.