Swollen red eyes! What is this!?

Yesterday my eyes started to get puffy and irritated, by this morning they are full on swollen and red! No new meds, no new food or make up.

No openings at my pcp and I know my rheummy wouldnt be able to get me it. Before I rush off to urgent care, has anyone else had this? Thinking about taking some prednisone.

Nope- go to urgent care it could be conjunctivitis or some other infection and antibiotics may be needed

Got ahold of my eye doc and was able to get an appt in a couple of hours. I have been home not feeling well for a week…where could I pick that up…hmmm. Never have had it, but hey, with Lupus i have a lot of ‘firsts’! :slight_smile:

Thank you poobie

Not sure what it looks like from this side of the computer, but I get swelled eyes around the edge of the lid. It turns red and looks inflamed. Sure glad you got an appointment like Poobie said it could be conjunctivitis. Let us know how it turns out.


Hi. It sounds like what I used to get. It turned out that I had Sjögren’s syndrome and all of the swelling was due to the eyes being really dry. I was put on restasis and artificial tears. It made an amazing difference for me. Hope this helps.


Up to 30% of people with SLE get inflamed eyes, usually with flares. It can be accompanied by dryness. It is more common to have this as a feature of SLE, than to have SLE and Sjogren's at the same time. I had inflamed dry eyes so severely, that all the all the water in my tears dried up, leaving just the mucus secretions, making it appear stringy (sounds very appealing, I know). I was misdiagnosed with an eye infection twice (two separate NPs), and eye allergies once (by an optometrist no less), before I finally went to an ophthalmologist who diagnosed me with inflammatory related chronic dry eye, so severe I had to start out with a round of steroid drops, then switch to Restasis. Of course preservative free lubricant eye drops on an as needed basis as well. So, if you can get into an ophthalmologist (mine got me in as a new patient in less than a week), that would be your best bet. I hope you get everything figured out soon. BTW, I'm by no means trying to diagnose you. Connective tissue disease is highly complex, and each case needs to be evaluated appropriately. I wish you the best!

This was one of my first Lupus symptoms. Mt eyes got all red as if I’d been crying. Conventional eye drops didn’t work. I finally got the ophthalmologist to believe it was related to Lupus (and not seasonal allergies like he wanted it to be. He prescribed a steroid eye drop which cleared it up. My eyes still look a little red periodically and the steroid drops still work.
BTW, my eyes always hurt a little and I can’t wear contacts any more.

I very often wake up with red irritated eyes...but not swollen. My hubby looks at the "tint" of my eyes as an indication of what kind or level of "flare" I am in. I take benedryl and hope. Sometimes it works okay...other times not as much. Is it possible there are seasonal allergens in your area? My allergies are ALWAYS worse when I am in... or beginning a flare. I also use allergy eye drops now and then. I guess it depends on how long you have had lupus...the areas it is invading at any particular time...your age...and how much freedom to adjust your medication your doctors have allowed you. I can change my dosage of prednisone on an "as needed" basis...anywhere from 2 to 10 mg additional either once a day...or twice a day... if the symptoms call for that. I find that when the lupus is targeting the surface and skin more than the internal organs or connective tissue...I have more allergy symptoms...than joint pain or nausea...and vice versa...however I have lived with this disease for several decades now...and I have become rather familiar with it's changes, variations, and sort of it's rhythm...for lack of a better word. I tend to have more "seasonal" flares than others I know...and it seems mid summer to mid or late fall is always a more difficult time for me. A allergic reaction can be triggered by things you don't normally react much to...like someone who visited you or spent time with you being around a pet you don't know....or pink eye (conjunctivitis) being in your area. It's always a guessing game when you have Lupus...first to figure out what to do and how to do it...and second to figure if what is presently happening is even Lupus related. Not every illness or reaction is...but when you have Lupus you tend to want to blame everything you get on having it...for a while in the beginning. Later...you learn...you will STILL get all the other crap out there also...and sometimes get it more easily if your auto immune system is low from a recent flare. It won't hurt to try a few OTC remedies while you are deciding if you need physician care. Best of luck to you.

Yes have been down that road twice....Check my prior profile photo for swollen eyes and face. Avoid sun, alcohol, and stress ....Meds...

start with 60 mg of prednisone and reduce to 5o, 40, 30, 20.10, each day. Is what helped me. Put your face in cool water do not use ice. Meditate to calm your self.

it will heal and eyes will go back to normal. Prayers coming your way.

Wow, I sure lear a lot from all of you, so I thank you for these responses. For the past couple of months dry eyes and mouth have been a problem that I have brought up with both my rheummy and eye doc, have taken measures for both. But this lastest thing was a new experience…I was dx three years ago with sle, so still learning. Ok, good thing it was not an infection but broken blood vessels which bled caising all the redness in the eye and also an allerrgic reaction to something. On wednesday i drank a bottled starbucks mocha frap, I know, bad girl. Right after it i noticed my eyes begin to swell and got progressively worse. I normally stay away from chocolate…i think this drink was the trigger? Anyhow, the eye doc gave me the steroid drops and my rheummy said to take zyrtec and a prednisone taper. Got right on all that yesterday so I am 95% better today. Alls well that ends well…it was pretty scarey though! Again thanks to all.

My eyes do that every time I have a flare… I always thought it was pink eye! I went to a specialist the sesecond time it happened he just said it was my bodies “natural reaction” to a flare! I haven’t head of any other lupus patients with the same problem so it’s nice to know I’m not alone! Hang in there!

Prednisone taper, Zyrtec and steroid eyedrops did the trick! Took a couple of days to kick in but all the swelling and redness is now gone. It was scary. Thanks to everyone for the advice.

Kourtney said:

My eyes do that every time I have a flare.. I always thought it was pink eye! I went to a specialist the sesecond time it happened he just said it was my bodies "natural reaction" to a flare! I haven't head of any other lupus patients with the same problem so it's nice to know I'm not alone! Hang in there!

Thanks for the repsonses everyone. Now I have a new question. I am in a flare right now...nasty as always...and it dawned on me...(again per my hubby...who seems to have a better handle on me...than I so) that I pretty NEARLY always have my worst flares in the fall of the year. Most all of my medical intervention issues have been this time of year also. Seems that August to November are the worst months for me and flares..(or other nasty issues) connected with Lupus.


Again Thanks for all the feedback! I do Dr. Seuss rhymes when I am suffering the worst pangs...My favorite is.

"I do not like this Lupus well...in fact this Lupus feels like hell'. then for some reason...I ALWAYS laugh like hell too. It helps.

All the time. It’s part of thr dry eye syndrome or whatever they call it. I have to use restasis, refreshe, and a steroid eye drop 2x every day. It’s an absolutely horrible thing.

I can’t even wear eye makeup longer than a couple of hours when I put it on because it really acts up. So basically I’m a bland face with red eyes often