You may sometimes awaken with a puffy, swollen face. It might occur if your face is pressed against your pillow as you sleep. However, a puffy, swollen face can also be caused by a facial injury or be a sign of a more serious health problem.
Facial swelling can affect not only the face but also the neck or throat. Facial swelling can be a sign of a medical emergency even if the face is not traumatized. Most of the time, a doctor should treat face swelling. If your face is swollen, it is likely that you will also have the following.
- Facial pain
- Facial redness
Causes for swollen face
Facial swelling is a common sign caused by several things, such as an injury, an allergic reaction, or an infection in the eye, skin, dental, mouth, or salivary gland infections. Other common causes of facial swelling are pregnancy, dehydration, inflammation, cancer and medications. People may also have swollen faces and eyes. Only one side of the face is swollen in some cases.
Some common medicines can cause facial swelling as a side effect.
- ACE inhibitors (enalapril, lisinopril, ramipril) and ARBs (irbesartan, losartan, valsartan) for treating hypertension
- Thiazolidinediones (pioglitazone, rosiglitazone) in the treatment of diabetes
- Analgesics (aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen)
- Rarely, swelling of the face can be an indication of anaphylaxis, a medical emergency that needs treatment right away.
Treatment of swollen face
Most contributing factors of facial swelling mandate a doctor’s assessment. If your face is swollen because of a small injury or not drinking enough water, you can treat it at home. However, if your face swells because of an infection or an allergy, you may need medicine or more tests to treat your symptoms.
You can try the following measures at home to get rid of the swelling in your face.
- Ice: If the swelling is subject to an injury or inflammation, put ice cubes on the face to relieve the symptoms.
- Hydration: A face that is puffy or swollen could be a sign of being very dehydrated. Getting enough water might help.
- The swelling may subside within some time if it results from insufficient sleep or excessive alcohol consumption.
When to go to the doctor
If the swelling in your face worsens or stays the same, or if home remedies do not help, you should see a doctor. The doctor may suggest the following treatment:
- Antibiotics: Your doctor may give you antibiotics if you have a bacterial infection.
- Referral to a dentist: If your swelling is due to a tooth infection, your primary care physician may recommend that you see a dentist.
- Drainage: If an infection in the mouth causes the swelling, a doctor may need to use a needle to drain the infection.
- Blood tests: Your doctor may advise blood tests to check your hormone levels if he or she thinks you have a health problem, like an imbalance in your hormones.
- Pregnancy test: If you have not had your period for a while, your doctor may tell you to take a pregnancy test.
- Medication given through an Intravenous drip: If your face swells up because of an allergic reaction, your doctor will probably give you medicine through an Intravenous drip as soon as possible to stop the symptoms.
Prevention of facial swelling
It is hard to stop all factors that cause swollen face, but these things can help:
- To avoid an adverse reaction to a drug, do not take it repeatedly. Keep track of your responses after taking medicine or eating certain food items and tell your doctor or other healthcare practitioners about them.
- Avoid known allergens, such as foods and medicines that cause problems.
- Eat a healthy diet and reduce stress to boost your immune system, which may help prevent some infections that cause facial swelling.
- Maintain good oral hygiene by routine brushing and flossing your teeth regularly to reduce the risk of tooth infection.
Many things could cause your face to swell. People may also have swollen faces in the morning. Some consequences are minor and treatable at home, while others can be life-threatening and need urgent medical intervention. If the facial swelling is minor, it may be difficult to see. Tell the doctor or nurse the following:
- Pain and exactly where it hurts
- How long the swell has been going on
- What is better or worse about it?
- If you have any other signs
Rohit Jain is an IPR Specialist and Medical Content Writing Expert. For over a decade, he has written several articles in the areas of female infertility, Erectile dysfunction, hemangioma, cervical cancer, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, mononucleosis, mitral valve disorder, shin splints, mild cognitive impairment, cellulitis, lymphoma, sepsis, cardiac rehabilitation and more.