I enjoy writing about health and wellness topics and offering tips on home remedy solutions.
It can be unsettling to experience a mosquito bite on the eyelid. In addition to the typical swelling and itching associated with a bug bite, the delicate location of the bite may raise additional questions about the condition of your eye. Due to the sensitive nature of eyes, excessive swelling is common due to the tissue's fragility. This may make the situation seem worse than it is. Fortunately, mosquito bites, including those on the eyelid, are typically not harmful and disappear in a few days or weeks. To speed up the process, swelling and irritation can be quickly reduced at home with three straightforward solutions. By knowing the safest methods to use, you could expect to see some results in 30 minutes to 2 hours.
1. Cold Compress
Cold compresses are a secure, reliable at-home treatment for eye pain. They are simple to make with common household items and can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including dry eyes, pinkeye, or general eye pain. They can effectively reduce swelling, pain, and dryness, so anyone suffering from a bug bite on their eyelid would find relief from their symptoms quite quickly. Cold compresses work to cool an injured area by constricting blood vessels; therefore, they are effective in reducing the discomfort and appearance of puffy, swollen eyelids.
How to Make a Cold Compress
The easiest cold compress to use at home is simply a clean face cloth that has been dipped in icy cold water and immediately wrung out. The compress should then be applied delicately to the closed eyelid. According to the National Eye Institute, it is perfectly safe to leave the compress applied to the eye for 15 minutes and then repeat the treatment as necessary every few hours. You may find that you need to rinse and refresh the cloth a few times during that period. To avoid burning the skin around the delicate eye area, only use icy water; ice itself should never be put on the skin directly. Take care not to overdo it; you don't want to apply a cold compress to your eyes for an extended period of time.
Usually, a mosquito bite causes immediate and severe itching, which can be even more troublesome when a mosquito bites you on a sensitive area like the eyelid. According to Healthline, when mosquitoes bite, they draw out blood and inject some saliva at the same time. Proteins and an anticoagulant are present in their saliva. The body's immune system is triggered by the proteins, because they are foreign substances. Histamine, a chemical that facilitates white blood cell access to the affected area, is released by the body's immune system in order to combat them. The itching is brought on by histamine.
Because the eyelid is so sensitive and delicate, it is crucial not to apply any creams, ointments, or topical treatments to the bitten area (other than the cold compress mentioned above). You could risk getting the cream into your eye and making it much worse. Instead, you may reduce the level of histamine by counteracting it with an antihistamine medication.
Choosing the Right Antihistamine
Loratadine is an effective over-the-counter antihistamine that is not likely to cause any drowsiness or other side effects. Tablets containing an antihistamine usually start to work after 30 minutes. You should start to experience some relief from the itching soon after taking it, as it reaches its peak effect within about two hours.
3. Eye Drops
Eye drops can be a gentle solution to relieve the symptoms of bug bites in the eye. But avoid using eye drops containing vasoconstrictors if you have a mosquito bite on your eyelid. Although vasoconstrictors are known to relieve red eyes in some circumstances, they can also increase pressure and promote a kind of inflammation that could lead to chronic eye redness.
Choosing the Right Eye Drops
Instead, try using an eye drop product that is intended for allergy relief, because that is more effective at reducing itchy and watery eyes. It also reduces redness, which will help to improve the appearance of your puffy, swollen eyelid. Furthermore, it doesn't contain the vasoconstrictors that could aggravate mosquito bite symptoms.
How to Use Eye Drops
Use the eye drops exactly as instructed on the label or as your doctor has advised. Never use more, less, or for a longer period of time than is advised. Use the eyedrops after washing your hands using these steps:
- Tilt your head back a little and pull down your lower eyelid.
- Hold the dropper over your eye.
- Squeeze out a drop while looking up and away from the dropper.
- To prevent the liquid from draining into your tear duct, close your eye and gently press your finger to the inside corner of the eye for about a minute.
Follow the eye drop treatment with a soothing cold compress for maximum effect.
When to See the Doctor
A mosquito bite can occasionally become infected and need medical attention. If any of the following warning signs appear, it may be time to see the doctor:
- If the eye pain is getting worse
- When the eyelid becomes redder (or "angrier") in appearance
- If the eyelid feels warm to the touch and firm
- If you discover extra fluid around the eye
- If inflammation has not reduced after a couple of days
Although bug bites on the eyelid are typically not harmful, they can cause intense itchiness, burning, and swelling, which may make you uncomfortable. Use these three simple treatments to combat the symptoms, and you should start to feel better soon. For more severe reactions, or if the bite is impairing your eyesight, you might require additional medical attention from your doctor.
Sources and Further Reading
- National Eye Institute | National Eye Institute
The National Eye Institute (NEI) performs and supports vision research and education programs that protect and prolong vision. Learn about eye conditions, healthy eyes, vision studies, and grants for vision research.
- Why Do Mosquito Bites Itch? Plus 10 Tips for Itch Relief
When mosquitos feed on your blood, your skin reacts with round, itchy red bumps. Learn how to stop the bites from itching.
- Eyedrops: An Ocean of Uses
Learn about the many uses for eyedrops and what's on the horizon from WebMD.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2022 Louise Fiolek