A sinus infection, technically called sinusitis, is inflammation of the sinuses, commonly caused by an allergy, or a viral or bacterial infection. Eye swelling is a symptom of this condition, which can range from mild and fleeting to severe.
AllAboutVision.com reports that a sinus infection is one of the most common causes of pain and swelling in and around the eyes. Proximity and connection between the sinuses and the eyes affects the eyes' reaction to sinus problems.
Puffy eyes are a top sign of a sinus infection, according to SinusInfectionHelp.com. The tissue that surrounds the eye sockets, including the eyelids, may appear slightly pink and swollen, making the eyes seem more "closed." Swelling between and below the eyes implies that the ethmoid sinuses are infected, which requires medical examination.
Eye swelling from a sinus infection causes sensitivity to light, blurry or clouded vision and temporarily decreased visual acuity that makes focusing difficult. Eye swelling accompanies painfulness, eye drooping and loss of eye movement in moderate to extreme sinus infections.
To reduce the effects on the eye, treatments target the root cause, which is the sinus infection. Nasal sprays, oral medications and, sometimes, antibiotics are used to clear the sinuses, thereby reducing eye swelling. Meanwhile, SinusInfectionHelp.com recommends steam inhalation through hot towels, showers or beverages to relieve symptoms.
A fungal sinus infection is very serious and may spread to the eye socket, causing the eyeball to bulge. This requires emergency medical treatment, since the effects of a fungal infection on the eye can rapidly cause blindness, according to AllAboutVision.com and Merck Manuals Online Medical Library.