A Guide to Eyelid Problems

It is said that the eyes are the window to the soul, but when eyelid problems plague an individual, the window may not provide a true expression.  There are several types of issues that can affect the eyelids; causing irritation and unsightly effects. 

Functions Of The Eyelids

For many people, the eyelid is simply a flap of skin that covers the eyeball.  While they are among the thinnest pieces of skin on the human body, these appendages actually have some very important functions that many may not even realize.  

As a guard against too much light exposed to the eyeball and from foreign objects penetrating the eyeball, the eyelids are a protective measure for the eye. 

As a means of distributing visceral fluid, the eyelids are a ministering aid to the eyeball; spreading tears to keep the cornea continually moistened. 

In addition to the skin, the eyelid also features a row of eyelashes that are much more than a decorative accent; keeping debris and perspiration from entering the eyes.

The eyelids exhibit frequent movement, as well.  Blinking is an automatic reflex that keeps the eyeball evenly coated with tears, keeping them from drying out.  The process also helps flush out any airborne irritants that may enter the eye. 

While the eyelids are at rest with little movement at night when we are sleeping, that doesn’t mean that the eyelids are not hard at work.  During the night, the eyelids are keeping the eyes covered and protected from dust and debris while also retaining the moisture that is necessary to coat the eye. 

When an issue with the eyelid arises, all of these important functions can be compromised.  Since the eyeball itself is such a sensitive organ, any issue with the eyelid can make it even more noticeable to the individual.  Discomfort, as well as vision impairment, can be experienced when eyelid problems ensue.  Most issues are temporary and require no medical intervention.   

Eye Stye

A common problem that affects the eyelid is a stye.  A painful infection of one of the eyelash hair follicles, a stye will appear as a reddened bump.  They can occur on either the upper or lower lid, and can cause itching, eye watering, pain and discomfort when blinking. 

Warm compresses on the stye along with gentle massage can reduce both the swelling and the discomfort. 


Conjunctivitis is an infection of the outermost layer of the membrane lining of the eyelid.

Known also as “pinkeye”, this infection can be caused by:

A virus




This malady can be contagious, so great care should be taken in touching the eye.  Frequent hand washing using a mild soap should be exercised, and sharing of any type of makeup or accessory that comes in contact with the eye should be avoided. 

Drooping Eyelids

One of the eyelid problems that may seem to be more of a cosmetic issue can also be seen as a medical issue as well.  Drooping eyelids, or ptosis, is a condition that causes a sleepy appearance on the individual. It can occur as part of genetics or as a result of aging.  Either way, this unattractive occurrence can also inhibit an individual’s sight. 

Surgery is required to correct this problem, although there are certain exercises that can be performed to alleviate the condition that is caused by aging. 

There are a number of disorders that can occur to the eyelid that are less well known, including:

Chalazion (a lump within the eyelid)


Ectropion and entropion eyelids

In some cases, surgery may be required. 

Our eyes are indeed the window to the soul.  When eyelid problems are present, however, that window may be not the best view until the issues clear up on their own.

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