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AxeEm677 12-16-2014 09:59 PM

Seemingly permanent eyelid/facial swelling, doctors baffled
I am a 20 year old male with a slim/athletic build. I have no serious medical conditions to my knowledge. I wear contact lenses in both eyes, and have since I was about 11.

First noticed about three years ago, I have been experiencing constant swelling in the area under my right eye that extends about halfway down my nose and also puffiness in the eyelids. It is usually subtle, but has fluctuated in the past. It seems to be somewhat worse in the morning at times.

My dentist who first noticed the swelling took several x rays, but they did not reveal the cause. My optometrist also did some kind of scan around the eye itself and it also showed nothing. Many other general practitioners over the years have tried to explain the cause, but none of them really had an answer for me, since the swelling is only on one side of my face. I had a CT scan scheduled at one point, but had to cancel because of the cost (deductible was not met).

Two years ago, the affected area swelled up so badly that it nearly shut. I don't recall much pain. After visiting my campus doctor, he determined that the sudden swelling was caused by an infection (likely from a sore on my face just below the sinus area "popping backwards"). I was given antibiotics and the swelling went back to normal. The/an infection started to return at least once or twice in the past, but antibiotics always knocked the area back down to normal size. It is almost as if the initial swelling just made a cavity or acted as a vessel for bacteria to move into more easily than other parts of my face.

It is most noticeable when I smile. Smiling causes my right eye to look much smaller than my left, as the puffy cheek moves up closer to my eye. The eyelids themselves also appear to be puffy when compared to those of my left eye. The field of vision in my right eye is also less than that of my left, which I notice when I look down. This is because my face sticks out further on the right side of my face (swollen area). I try not to smile as much as a result of all this, because the skin under my right eye does not fold in the same way as my left causing an asymmetrical facial expression (in addition to the smaller looking eye).

I am posting this in hopes that someone else has experienced something similar, because doctors have had no answers for me.

Titchou 12-17-2014 03:54 AM

Re: Seemingly permanent eyelid/facial swelling, doctors baffled
Definitely sounds like an infection that lies dormant for awhile as the antibiotics seem to always work - from what you said. I would see an ENT but it may be that the CT scan is really what you need to see what's going on but maybe a culture would show something. Anyway, I think an ENT would be the next step

MyCat55 12-30-2014 01:18 PM

Re: Seemingly permanent eyelid/facial swelling, doctors baffled
As already indicated if a dentist and an optometrist don't see anything wrong related to their fields to refer you on to maxillofacial specialist and ophthalmology, then you need to see an ENT.

General Practitioners while they are good with dealing with lots of conditions and primary health concerns aren't specialists in ENT.

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