Eyelid Disease | Ophthalmology | Loyola Medicine

Eyelid Disease

Overview and Facts about Eyelid Disease

Eyelid disease is a term used to describe several diseases or ophthalmological conditions that affect the eyelids, which are responsible for protecting and lubricating the eyes. Many eyelid diseases affect the integrity or function of your eyelid, and they can occur in both children and adults.

Signs and Symptoms of Eyelid Disease

Symptoms of an eyelid disease depend on the type of eyelid disease present. A common eyelid disease is a stye, characterized by the presence of a red and tender bump on the edge of the eyelid. Individuals with dermatochalasis, or excess skin on the eyelids, and ptosis, or drooping eyelids, often have a limited field of vision.

Eyelid diseases that expose the inside of the eyelid to the outside environment, such as ectropion, cause dry eye symptoms that include burning, itching, red eyelids and red eyes. Eyelid diseases that cause the eyelid to fold into the eye, such as entropion, can lead to scarring of the eye and eye damage because the eyelashes repeatedly graze against the eye.  

Common symptoms of eyelid disease include:

  • Eye redness and irritation
  • Eyelid swelling or bleeding
  • Blurry vision
  • Burning or stinging sensations in the eye
  • Visible eyelid deformities
  • Eye twitching
  • Eyelid drooping or paralysis
  • Growth on the inside or outside of the eyelid

Causes and Risk Factors of Eyelid Disease

The causes of eyelid disease depend on the type of eyelid disease. In general, causes of eyelid disease include aging, eye nerve damage and trauma to the eye, all of which can permanently affect the structure and integrity of the eyelid. In some cases, individuals are born with abnormally shaped eyelids that may lead to eyelid disease symptoms, if the condition does not receive treatment. If left untreated, eyelid disease can cause blindness, eye cancer or eye infection.

Tests and Diagnosis of Eyelid Disease

A physical eye exam can generally diagnose eyelid disease. An eye exam helps doctors determine whether structural issues are present within or around the eyelid. If the doctor suspects nerve damage, special imaging techniques can detect it.

Treatment and Care for Eyelid Disease

Eye disease treatment and care depend on the type of eye disease present. For example, stye growth on the eyelid can be treated with a warm compress placed over the eye. More complicated eyelid disorders may require surgical treatment to correct the structure and form of the eyelid and alleviate symptoms.