Causes and Treatments for Puffy Eyes
Are you wondering what causes swollen or puffy eyes and how you can get rid of them? Then you’ve come to the right place.
Though they tend to be bothersome, puffy eyes do not affect your eyes or overall health. In this article, we’ll tackle various puffy eyes topics from causes to treatment. So, continue reading below to learn more.
What causes puffy eyes?
Swelling around the eyes or puffy eyes occur when excessive fluids accumulate (edema) in the thin layers of the tissues surrounding your eyes. As a result, the skin around the eyes swell and gets discolored.
But what causes this in the first place?
Here’s is a list of several factors that can lead to the development of puffy eyes:
- Consuming food high in salt: The salt causes your body to retain water and lead to swelling.
- Genetics: Some people have puffy eyes and under-eyes because it’s a physical characteristic that runs in their family.
- Allergies: Inflammation or congestion resulting from allergies can sometimes lead to eye puffiness.
- Medical conditions: Conditions like thyroid problems can cause swelling of the eyes.
- Lack of sleep and fatigue
- Inherited facial features
Puffy eyes can also result from the natural aging process, where a part of the fatty tissues that normally protect the inside of eyes and bony eye socket pushes forward and occupy the spaces below the eye.
This occurs because the aging process causes the septum (a membrane that normally holds the fat in upper and lower eyelids) to lose its firmness due to thinning. As such, fat gets pushed forward, causing swelling of eyes, the appearance of dark circles and under-eye bags.
Puffy eyes in the morning
During the day, we blink a lot, but as we sleep at night we don’t, which is why sometimes we develop puffy eyes. The dark circles occur mostly because of lack of sleep or stress.
If you sit down for long without stretching your legs, they may become swollen. The same thing happens to your eyes when you don’t blink for long periods. It’s common for people to wake up with swollen lower eyelids, but the swelling goes away the moment they blink since the accumulated fluids get absorbed back into circulation.
Do puffy eyes show an underlying medical condition?
Puffy eyes are mainly caused by natural aging, genetics, stress, and lack of sleep. However, sometimes people tend to mistake swollen eyelids for puffy eyes. If your eyelids swell suddenly, then you might have an underlying medical condition or problem.
Swollen eyelids may indicate several conditions, including:
- Thyroid eye disease
- Eye allergies
- Kidney failure and other systemic diseases
- Pink eye
- Inflammation related to dry eye syndrome
- Other eye infections
If you don’t know if you have swollen eyelids or just puffy eyes, it’s wise to visit your eye specialist so you can receive a comprehensive eye exam to determine if you have an underlying health condition. The specialist will distinguish the two conditions and determine if you need medical attention or care.
How to treat puffy eyes
Determining the best treatment for puffy eyes and dark circles depends on the underlying cause of the condition. There are many temporary remedies that can reduce the appearance of puffy eyes and dark circles, including:
- Drinking lots of water to prevent dehydration
- Applying chilled tea bags and cucumber slices over closed eyes
- Cutting down salt intake
- Using eye drops to alleviate any irritation
- Getting enough sleep
- Splashing cold water over your face and eyes
- Consuming potassium-rich foods like bananas since they can get rid of excess fluids in your body
- Applying creams and other skin products designed for use around the eyes
For those who have inherited puffy eyes or under-eye bags, cosmetic eyelid surgery can help to get rid of the puffiness. Cosmetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) can also remove puffy eyes caused by aging.
You can discuss with your cosmetic surgeon or eye doctor the various treatment procedures available to reduce the appearance of puffy eyes and dark circles. The procedure can include laser skin resurfacing and chemical peels.
Applying hemorrhoid cream and ointments on the skin tissue around the eyes is one of the most common ways to eliminate puffy eyes. These products contain phenylephrine, a common active ingredient, which helps to constrict blood vessels.
The constriction of the blood vessels in the eyelids helps to get rid of accumulated fluids, which cause eye puffiness and dark circles.
However, keep in mind that hemorrhoid creams can cause a severe inflammatory response or chemical conjunctivitis if it accidentally gets in your eyes. Also, it’s wise to seek medical counsel from your doctor before using any hemorrhoid cream or skin products.
When to seek medical help
Although puffy eyes cannot make you lose your shit and run to the hospital like a madman, be careful since you can actually have swollen eyelids and not puffy eyes.
As we said earlier, swollen eyelids can indicate a serious underlying medical condition. So, it doesn’t hurt to stop by the hospital and have your eye specialist check you out to determine which condition you have. If it’s swollen eyelids, the doctor will recommend the best way forward.