Having swollen, reddish and itchy eyelids has never been bearable for anyone. When it happens, the medical term that’s applicable is blepharitis, which is characterized by an inflammation along the edge of the eyelid, specifically where the eyelash hairs grow.
Exposure to irritating chemical substances or dust can trigger this swelling of the eyelids. But usually, the reason for the swelling is microbial (staphylococcus) or viral.
If well treated, it can dwindle away within a few days. If poorly cared for, it will settle in and become not only chronic but contagious, spreading to other healthy persons. It can make someone almost incapable of doing anything because of the frequent itchiness.
How does this occur? What specifically describes it and how does it impact a person’s health? Can plants help do away with these conditions?
Swollen eyelid key facts
Tear glands usually protect and clean the eye, as they produce and release a liquid substance: tears. Tears carry away impurities that land on the eye and regularly and naturally disinfect it.
When the tear glands can’t anymore play their part, the eyeball isn’t lubricated constantly anymore. It’s exposed to wind, dust, and whatever might cause aggression. Experiencing a bout of allergy, being exposed to chemical vapors or polluted air tends to weaken the eyelids. These start feeling irritated, swell, turn reddish and start to itch. This is how a blepharitis starts (an inflammation of the eyelid).
Any person whose tear duct size is reduced, or whose tear liquid constituents aren’t optimal, or again those who suffer from rosacea (a skin disease) may be vulnerable to swelling in the eyebrows.
Blepharitis tends to occur repeatedly.
When a person is experiencing an inflammation of the eyelids, it’s imperative to follow a few words of advice before starting any course of treatment. Among other tips:
- Avoid using make-up and cosmetic accessories
- Don’t rub the eyes so as to not spread the infection
- Be strict about the cleanliness of hygienic implements
This will contain contamination and keep the disease from spreading to other persons.
How to recognize it
Swollen eyelid (blepharitis) is usually identified when a redness around the eye is paired with the sensation that something is stuck in the eye.
The patient feels tingling, a burning sensation in the eyes and the eyelid swells, specifically near the eyelashes.
The eyelids feel painful and the patient doesn’t react well to bright lights. On these eyelid, tiny blisters tend to form, and, upon waking in the morning, they eyes are caked shut.
In extreme cases, at the end of the bout, scarring may actually lead the patient to loose a few eyelash hairs.
Plants for swollen and inflamed eyelids, blepharitis
It’s possible to treat the inflammation in the eyelids thanks to the benefits of certain plants.
Let’s have a look around…
Chamomile, melilot, mallow, elder and Euphraisia (also called eyebright) are known for their relaxing properties when treating blepharitis. Simply prepare herbal tea and dip a compress into it, and place the compress on the eyes for a few minutes.
Cornflower, another plant, has many soothing, relaxing and especially decongestant properties. Its water used to imbibe a compress is very effective to end a bout of inflamed eyelids.
For that, prepare an infusion with cornflower or elder flowers, dip a clean compress in it, and apply on the affected eye.
Aloe vera, in the form of dried powder, once diluted in boiling water, is also effective to end this disease.
Galenic forms and directions for use
- Use of plants like mallow, chamomile, melilot, cornflower or eyebright is easy. Simply pick one of these plants and:
- prepare herbal tea by infusing 1 teaspoon of the desired plant for 5 minutes in boiling water
- let the infusion cool down
- dip one or more compresses in it
- then apply the drenched compresses with herbal tea on each eye for a couple minutes.
- If you wish to use cornflower water, imbibe one compress for each eye, and apply it on the sick eye for a few minutes.
- For aloe vera, you’ll have to prepare eye drops. Take the plant in powder form, measure out ½ tablespoon. Pour it in 1 cup mineral water. Your eye drops are ready, and you can apply them on your eyelids.
Plants share many benefits and can definitely soothe you. However, since eye inflammations are a recurring disease, feel free to check with an expert or ask a health professional in case of doubt or if it doesn’t get any better.