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Eyelid problems

Find out what to do if you have a lump on your eyelid, or an eyelid that's swollen, sticky, itchy, drooping or twitching.

Many eyelid problems are not serious.

It's fairly common to have any of these problems:

  • a lump that goes away by itself after 3 or 4 weeks
  • mildly itchy, flaky or sticky eyelids that clear up by themselves
  • swelling from a nearby insect bite, injury or operation that goes away after a week or so
  • twitching or blinking from time to time – often when you're tired
  • eyelids that droop (or get more "hooded") as you get older

Your symptoms might give you an idea of the cause. Do not self-diagnose – see a GP if you're worried.

Lump on eyelid
Swollen eyelid
Itchy, flaky or sticky eyelid
Drooping or hooded eyelid
Frequently twitching or blinking eyelid
  • what you can do to treat it yourself
  • if you can buy anything to help – for example, cleaning solutions for sticky eyelids
  • if you need to see an optician or GP

Non-urgent advice: See a GP if:

  • you're worried about an eyelid problem
  • it's getting worse or lasting a long time
  • your eyelid is painful or you're in a lot of discomfort
  • you have yellow lumps or patches around your eyes

Urgent advice: Ask for an urgent GP appointment or call 111 if:

  • your swollen eyelid is red, hot, painful, tender or blistered
  • your eyelid droops suddenly
  • the pain is in your eye (not your eyelid)
  • the white of your eye is very red, in part or all over
  • you're sensitive to light (photophobia)
  • your eyesight changes – for example, you see wavy lines or flashing
  • you have a very high temperature, or feel hot and shivery, or you feel generally unwell
  • you think it's an allergic reaction

111 will tell you what to do. They can arrange a phone call from a nurse or doctor if you need one.

Go to NHS 111 or call 111.