Why does my eyelid hurt? Reasons for pain, burn & swelling in the upper & lower part 

This problem can occur in both children and adults. The upper or lower eyelid can get affected for several reasons, and you might experience swelling and inflammation, among other symptoms. While often it only irritates us, it can sometimes be a sign of a serious health problem. Suppose you or your child suffer from this issue. In that case, this article will help you expand your knowledge and deal with the situation better.  

It is important to research a problem before you come up with a solution. In this article, we will discuss this problem and explore its causes. If you ask yourself – “Why does my eyelid hurt?” we got you covered with 7 reasons for pain, burn & swelling in the upper & lower part. 

Table of Contents

General symptoms

The best way to identify whether you have a sore eyelid is to look for general symptoms you might be experiencing. While a single symptom will not be enough to tell the cause, multiple ones experienced simultaneously clearly indicate that your assumptions are confirmed.

In general, a person that has sore eyelids will experience the following:

  • inflammation
  • irritation
  • itchiness
  • redness
  • pain
  • swelling

When these conditions occur in the affected area, you will know what the problem is. Some serious cases include:

  • severe pain
  • fever
  • and even vision loss.

In that situation, seeking professional medical help and making an appointment with your ophthalmologist is important. They will be able to diagnose your condition and come up with the ideal treatment at the same time. 

What to do if your eye is swollen?

When you notice the first symptoms, you can apply some home remedies to reduce pain and accelerate healing. Normally, your immune system should work hard to solve this problem, but sometimes, it will not be enough.

You can apply a saline solution if there is discharge, which will significantly help with this problem. Those with contact lenses should remove them and only put them back on when they are fully healed. A cool compress over your eyes will also make you feel better.

But if your situation gets worse and the problem is not solved, you should seek medical assistance. The professional help and treatment of an ophthalmologist are always better than doing something on your own that you are not sure about. 

PlacementMost likely reason
The outer corner of the eyelidstyes

Upper eyelid pain

When your upper eyelid is aching in the morning, you might also experience swelling. Upper eyelid problems are caused by allergies or getting too much sleep. Because they contain chemicals that are sometimes harmful to the skin, certain makeup products might have the same effect.

Some people also experience Orbital Cellulitis, a bacterial infection in the small tissues of your upper eyelid. Those with it experience severe pain, and antibiotics will be needed as a treatment. Nevertheless, only a specialized doctor can diagnose the problem and offer treatment.

Blockage of the tear duct should also be considered, as it causes the tears to be trapped and result in eye discomfort. As a result, the eyelid will be swollen and painful. It often happens in infants and young children. 

Lower eyelid pain

While the cause of lower and upper eyelid pain could be the same, there are some things you should consider. Predicting diseases is never recommended, and only a professional doctor will be able to tell the exact cause.

But depending on the symptoms, you might assume what your problem is based on the signs shown. Conjunctivitis is a condition that causes severe inflammation on the layer of tissue that sits in the front of your eye. Bacterial infections cause this condition, but some allergies can also cause conjunctivitis.

If you suspect you have it, look for symptoms if you want confirmation. Suppose you are experiencing a sore bottom eyelid and soreness in and around the eyes or a discharge from them. In that case, you should see a doctor and tell them you suspect you have conjunctivitis. 

The outer corner of the eyelid hurts.

If you experience pain in the corner of your eye, there are several possible causes. They include problems such as duct infections, styes, or even Blepharitis. All of these conditions will affect the outer corner of your eyelid.

While seeing a doctor about this problem is recommended, you can also try some home remedies such as warm compresses and artificial tears. But some advanced and severe conditions might need antibiotics and special treatments.

The pain should fade after a couple of days when you treat it at home. But if the condition worsens and you cannot feel an improvement in your health, you should see an eye doctor and ask for their advice. They will diagnose the problem and give you the best solution. 

What causes pain behind the eye?

There are several causes for pain behind the eye, which is the most common symptom. From mild to intense, this indicates that you have some health problems behind the eye. If you wonder about the causes, let’s look at the most common reasons.

  • Sclera inflammation

The sclera is the external coating of your eyeball. When combined with other symptoms, the effects will be very painful. Additionally, you might also feel a stabbing feeling behind the eye.

  • Brain aneurysm

While this cause is less common, it is still something to consider. When you feel pain behind the left eye, you should seek medical help and identify if you are suffering from this issue. A brain aneurysm occurs when the blood vessels in the brain are weak, and the results are fatal if not treated. 

  • Buildup intraocular pressure

When the pressure increases in your eyes, pain is the first symptom that you will experience. This symptom will be paired with swollen eyelids and loss of peripheral vision. Still, some people also feel nauseous and have watery eyes.

  1. Migraines

When you have a migraine or a headache, you might experience throbbing pain behind your eye. These are not dangerous and should often go away on their own or after you take a painkiller.

  1. Sinus inflammation

If you have heard about or experienced sinusitis, then you know this condition. Pressure is created behind your eyes, and your face gets tender. Pain might also be experienced, as they are all symptoms of sinusitis. 

  1. Problems with your vision

Those who need protective eyewear will always experience pain behind their eyes when they are forcing themselves to make up for their vision. The brain and eyes are trying too hard to clear the image, and you might experience pain.

  1. Dry eyes

When your eyes are dry, the sensitivity to light increases and headaches could occur. It happens when your own eyes are not able to produce tears and keep the moisture at a stable level. 

Puffy eyes & allergic reactions

Some allergic reactions will make you experience puffy eyes. Your eyes will start swelling whenever you are exposed to a factor you are allergic to. Other symptoms include itchy, swollen eyelids and red eyes. Still, some people also feel a burning sensation and experience watery discharge.

This reaction happens because the white blood cells attach themselves to the membranes of your eyes, building fluid and increasing the moisture in your eyes. As a result, puffy eyes or swollen eyelids occur. This effect might last up to 7 days, but it depends on how your body reacts to the allergy. 

How to relieve eyelid pain

Relief options depend on the cause of your problem. Depending on the reason why you experience eyelid pain, you will have to apply certain solutions. Regardless if you have a droopy swollen eyelid or the vein in your eyelid is swollen, there is a solution for every problem. 

For example, those that suffer from Blepharitis will have medicated eye drops prescribed by their eye doctor. Additionally, they should also keep their eyes and eyelids clean.

Those suffering from conjunctivitis will learn that it cannot be treated with any medication, and they should let their body heal. Some antibiotic eye drops are used to kill the bacteria that cause the infection, and some pain relief solutions are available. 

Best eye drops for swollen eyelids

If you are looking for an effective solution for swollen eyelids, here is a product you can order immediately. After the package is delivered, you can apply it to your eyes to relieve your symptoms.

Bausch + Lomb Alaway Antihistamine Eye Drops

This product will help you relieve the symptoms caused by allergies, such as:

  • grass
  • animal hair
  • and pollen.

This solution is recommended only for adults and children 3 years or older. A team of experts clinically tested these eye drops and proved their efficiency.

You can purchase this product without a medical prescription as it is available over the counter. When you use this product, you should always remove the contact lenses and replace the cap filter after each usage. Contact your doctor if you experience side effects like eye pain or vision changes. 

NameAllergy Eye Itch Relief Eye Drops
Active IngredientsAcetaminophen
Product BenefitsEye Care
Product dimensions4 x 4 x 6 inches
Size10 mL


  • Really reasonable price.
  • They work.
  • Very soothing


  • Not everyone may want to take antihistamines
  • Some have complained about sleep when using these.
  • Some people complain that they burn to use.

Check the price on Amazon.

General prevention tips

The best solution to a problem is prevention. When you prevent eyelid soreness and other symptoms from appearing, you will not have to suffer the pain and look for treatment options. You should avoid eye allergens and triggers that cause this problem and check in with your eye doctor as often as necessary.

Although it is an automated process, you should also ensure you blink regularly. Lastly, avoid touching and rubbing your eyes because a lot of bacteria on the hand can cause an infection. 

5-year-old complaining of eyes hurting

If your 5-year-old kid is complaining about their eyes hurting, it is not recommended to apply home remedies. They are recommended for adults that suffer from mild cases, and young ones should always be taken to a doctor for a check-up.

Some conditions show more often in babies and children than in adults. In any case, the eye doctor can diagnose the little one and come up with a solution before the problem develops into something serious.

What does a scratch on the eye feel like?

Corneal abrasions are not common, but they can occur from injuries. The cornea is highly sensible, so the symptoms are very painful. The feeling is similar to having sand in your eyes, and you will also notice that your vision is blurry.

Other people will see that your eyes turn red. When exposed to a direct light source, you will also feel a type of pain that goes away once you close your eyes. 

The toddler woke up with a swollen eye.

If your toddler wakes up in the middle of the night with a swollen eye, there is no time to waste. It is important to diagnose the problem as soon as possible. While the issue might be temporary and harmless, you should consider allergies or blocked tear ducts.

If your toddler cries often and rubs their eyes, swollen eyes are normal after these actions. A cold compress will be helpful and will remediate the problem. 

If your eye hurts when you blink or look around, most likely they are dry. The tear duct might be blocked, and the surface of your eyes is dry because they cannot get moisturized. As a result, it will be more painful when you look around.

Glaucoma or optic neuritis should also be considered, especially if you feel pain when blinking. But in most cases, conjunctivitis and dry eyes cause this problem. 

When should I be concerned about eye pain?

Eye pain is serious, especially since sight is our primary sense. Losing your vision is a significant risk to your well-being. You should take all the necessary measures when you notice something is wrong with your eyes. 

You should seek emergency medical care if you have severe eye pain along with headaches or fever. You should also contact your doctor when you experience nausea, vomiting, or trouble keeping your eyes open. 

Which of these eyelid parts are affected?

  • Upper
  • Lower
  • Outer corner


Can you pop a stye?

Because it looks like a pimple, some people consider popping their stye. You should never do it because a stye is full of pus that might return to the infected area and promote the spread of bacteria. It will make the problem worse, so you should let the stye heal by itself. 

How long does a swollen eyelid last?

If you have a swollen eyelid, you should know that the problem will go away on its own within a day. You should see your eye doctor if the issue persists 48 hours later. At this point, getting a professional diagnosis and treatment is crucial for the future of your sight. 

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