Basic Facts about Red Eyes and Swollen Eyelids in the Morning

Published: 23rd April 2010
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Doctors used to contribute red eyes and swollen eyelids in the morning to serious eye diseases like dry eyes, glaucoma or eye allergies vaguely. However, red eyes, together with swollen eyelids, do not match thoroughly with serious eye diseases.



Actually, the common eye symptoms in the morning are caused by many reasons. Frequently eye allergy is one cause, which can be aggravated by lower level of tears in dry eyes. Low level tears means allergens in eyes are more active than in common eyes, and they may cause great bad effect. To open windows in an allergy season to allow more pollen in and to let pets sleep on your pillow can greatly increase the above problem. Moreover, sleep apnea, as well as floppy eyelid syndrome, can lead to open eyes when sleeping, thus make eyes easily dehydrated. Low grade infection of eyelid margins with staphylococcus bacteria may also result in the swollen eyelids. Also, with the age growing, you may find the conditions are more likely to happen than before, especially for women.



When you sleep at night, the normal tear film will not be pumped out through the tear ducts and they will spread all over the eyes like motions of normal blinking. In the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) state of sleep, eye blinking does occur, but as a whole the eyes is in a static state though there are bacteria trapping actions on the surface of eyes. However, you do not have to be worried about that because eye has its own immune system, which can be ramped up at night to resist the invasion of bacteria. Though the final result may be that your eyes are in a state of mild inflammation, it is very common and can happen to each person. As your body becomes old, eyes are drier than before. Simultaneously, the bacteria and bacterial toxins increases which needs a much quicker immune response though it is not possible. Particularly during the menopause period, both men and women have a rapid fall on hormone levels. The androgen hormone, which commonly exists in men, is a key factor to dry eyes in women. So the possibility that women get dry eyes is 3-4 times larger than men with age growing.



Eyelid anatomy is mostly due to eyelid swelling. The fatty tissue in the upper eyelid will degrade with age and it enters into the eyelid causing it to droop all day long. In that way, eyelid is more likely to lose its elasticity and is more susceptible to swelling. The buildup of inflammation during sleep can cause swelling in the adjacent eyelid tissue, too. We know the posture of sleeping, with our heads slightly elevating, reduces the drainage of fluid in the lymph system. As a result, the fluid will accumulate on the eyelid, but the accumulation can be reduced throughout the day if the inflammation is at a low grade.



You had better visit your doctor to have a through check up on your red eyes or swollen eyelid to exclude any serious diseases like heart conditions, obstructive sleep apnea, kidney problems, glaucoma, or medication side effects. Your doctor will treat you according to the real causes of the symptoms and give you medicines or advices, such as reduce alcohol and salt consumption which lead to water retention, try cool compresses for 5-10 minutes in the morning, or exercise in the morning to stimulate body circulation, to solve the problems.



Red eyes and swollen eyelids do not mean you have serious eye problems. Do not be too nervous about that. Adopt the right way, you can deal with that.



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