For many people having the odd swollen or puffy eye is nothing out of the ordinary. Puffy eyes are caused by a build-up of fluid in the thin tissue surrounding eyes, and is commonly visible as swollen upper or lower eyelids. There are many common causes for eye swelling, and typically there will not be much pain, however, there may be some discomfort. This will go away as the swelling begins to go down after a few hours or within a day. If the swelling persists past 48 hours you should visit your optometrist or eye-care professional as the puffiness may be caused by something more severe.

The most common reasons for swollen eyes include:


When there is an impact around your eye, the force of the blow causes your eye to compress and retract. This will lead to swelling around the eye and perhaps some discolouration or bruising.


Probably the most common cause of eye puffiness and one that should not cause alarm. This reaction can be caused by seasonal allergies, food, or chemicals.

Bug Bites

If you are spending time outdoors, you may expect to encounter a few bugs. At times these bugs unfortunately bite, and if this bite occurs on your face and around your eye it can lead to swelling.

Pink Eye

This infection is normally recognized by the redness caused by inflamed blood vessels in the thin membrane that lines your eye. However, swelling of the eyeball is also a common side effect of conjunctivitis or pink eye.


This is swelling and or small bumps on your eyelids that are caused by a blocked oil gland. These cysts or chalazion are usually painless and are known to go away on their own.


Are an infection of an eyelash follicle or sweat gland and appear as bumps on the edge of your eyelids. They are commonly confused with cysts, but one difference is that styes are painful, where cysts are not.

Fluid Retention

When excess fluids build up in your body, parts of your body swell. This includes hands, ankles and at times your eyes, this swelling will go down with a little bit of time.

There are several medical conditions that can cause swollen eyes and eyelids, these include:

Graves Disease

Which is connected to a thyroid issue, it is an autoimmune condition which causes swelling of your eyes.

Eye Cancer

Swelling may not be a concern as there are several more severe symptoms that will appear along with swelling if you suffer from eye cancer. These include blurred vision and floaters.

Most swelling around your eyes will go away within a day or two, there are things you can do to help speed up the process such as washing out your eyes, icing down the area, and removing any potential irritants such as contact lenses. If the swelling does not go down within a 48-hour period you can risk long term damage to your eyes and in some cases the includes loss of sight, depending on the cause. If you are experiencing prolonged puffiness around your eyes, don’t delay on getting them looked at by a professional eye-care practitioner.