Allergic Eyelid Problems

Allergy of the eyelids is a common problem. The two most common types of eyelid allergies are contact dermatitis and atopic dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is allergic inflammation of the eyelid from direct contact with certain allergens. Women in particular may suffer from this problem due to allergic reactions to preservatives in eye products and makeup. Common examples include eye creams, eyeliner or eye pencils, mascara, and nail polish (caused by rubbing the eye with the fingers). Other irritants include over-the-counter and prescription medications (neomycin or Bacitracin), as well as contact lens solutions.

Symptoms appear 24 to 48 hours after exposure to the allergen. The eyelids may become swollen and red. They may also feel itchy and possibly form blisters. The white of the eye may also become red and watery. If the eyelids continually come into contact with the offending agents, the lids may become chronically inflamed and thickened.

Atopic dermatitis is similar but is a more systemic allergy to allergens such as pollens, pet dander, mold spores and dust mites. Food allergies may also cause atopic dermatitis. Unlike contact dermatitis, which primarily affects the upper eyelids, atopic dermatitis typically involves both the upper and lower eyelids. In many cases other body parts may also be affected.

The best treatment for eyelid allergies is avoidance of the sensitizing agent. Changing to hypoallergenic lens solutions, cosmetics, or topical eye products is usually necessary. Application of a mild topical corticosteroid cream for short periods will likely be beneficial. It is also important to treat any secondary bacterial infection that may develop.


If you would like to learn more about Allergic Eyelid Problems call 1-800-244-9907 to make an appointment at Central Valley Eye Medical Group.


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Dear Friends,

We at Central Valley Eye hope that you and your families are well. To continue to protect the health of our patients and staff during the coronavirus pandemic, we are taking all reasonable precautions as we provide the eye care that our community needs:

  • All patients and staff must now wear masks within the clinic building. Please bring one from home.
  • Whenever appropriate, we are rescheduling patients with fever, cough, or cold symptoms
  • We have adjusted our schedule to decrease the number of patients in our waiting rooms
  • We have increased our already strict sanitizing practices
  • Whenever appropriate, we are diverting visits to telemedicine (by cell phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop). Please contact us for further details at 209-952-3700.

If you are unsure whether to come in for your visit, please call us.

Following state guidelines, the doctors at Central Valley Eye have recently resumed performing elective surgeries. Our surgery coordinators will be contacting patients to reschedule the surgeries that needed to be postponed. We appreciate your patience during this time.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 209-952-3700.

Warmest regards,

Brandy Simpson
Practice Manager
Central Valley Eye Medical Group, Inc.