Read about some of the main causes of eyelid problems, including cysts, styes, blepharitis, dry eyes, ptosis, ectropion and entropion.
What to do if you have a lump on your eyelid, or an eyelid that's swollen, sticky, itchy, drooping or twitching.
Many eyelid problems aren't serious. It's fairly common to have any of these problems:
- a lump that goes away by itself after 3 or 4 weeks
- mildly itchy, flaky or sticky eyelids that clear up by themselves
- swelling from a nearby insect bite, injury or operation that goes away after a week or so
- twitching or blinking from time to time – often when you're tired
- eyelids that droop (or get more "hooded") as you grow older
How a pharmacist can help with eyelid problems
A pharmacist might be able to tell you:
- what you can do to treat it yourself
- if you can buy anything to help, for example cleaning solutions for sticky eyelids
- if you need to see an optician or GP
Find a pharmacy
See a GP if:
- you're worried about an eyelid problem
- you think it's an allergic reaction
- it's getting worse or lasting a long time
- your eyelid is painful or you're in a lot of discomfort
- you have yellow lumps or patches around your eyes
- you have a rash on your body as well as lumps on your eyelids
- you have a very high temperature, or feel hot and shivery, or you generally feel unwell
- the side of your neck, armpits or groin feel swollen and painful (swollen lymph nodes)
Ask for an urgent GP appointment or go to A&E if:
- your swollen eyelid is red, hot, painful, tender or blistered
- your eyelid droops suddenly
- the pain is in your eye (not your eyelid)
- the white of your eye is very red, in part or all over
- you're sensitive to light (photophobia)
- your eyesight changes, for example you see wavy lines or flashing
- you have difficulty breathing
- your mouth or tongue is swollen
- you're lightheaded or confused
- you feel faint or like you might collapse
- you have blue skin or lips
Causes of eyelid problems
Your symptoms might give you an idea of the cause. Don't self-diagnose – see your GP if you're worried.
Lump on eyelid
|Painful lump, filled with pus like a pimple.
|Hard lump, not painful.
||chalazion (meibomian cyst)
|Yellow lumps or patches.
||Xanthelasma, sometimes caused by high cholesterol
|Blisters or scabs with a rash on the body.
||Shingles or chickenpox
|Mole, freckle or patch changes shape, colour or size.
|Swelling after contact with something you're allergic to.
|Red, hot, painful, swollen.
Itchy, flaky or sticky eyelid
Drooping or hooded eyelid
|Lower eyelid drooping and turning outwards.
|Lower eyelid drooping and turning inwards.
|Skin above upper eyelid drooping down over eye.
|Edge of upper eyelid drooping down over eye.
|Sudden drooping with vision loss and headaches.
||In rare cases, a serious condition like myasthenia gravis or brain tumour
Frequently twitching or blinking eyelid
|Frequent blinking or twitching, sometimes with uncontrollable eye closing.
||A type of dystonia (movement disorder) called blepharospasm