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15 ways to reduce puffy eyes

Category : 
Author : Dr Deepak Garg

Puffy eyes meaning

Bags under the eyes are mild swelling or puffiness under the eyes. They're commonly seen in older adults because as they age the tissues around your eyes weaken, including some of the muscles supporting your eyelids. Fat that helps support the eyes can then move into the lower eyelids, instead of it staying under the eyeball, causing them to appear puffy. Fluid may also accumulate below your eyes.

Bags under the eyes are usually a cosmetic concern and rarely a sign of a serious condition. Having said that there are a few serious eye conditions as well as systemic conditions that can cause puffy or swollen eyelids. At-home remedies, such as cool compresses, can help improve their appearance. For persistent or bothersome under-eye puffiness, eyelid surgery may be the only option. Blepharoplasty is the name of the surgery.

What Causes Puffy Eyes

Following are the common causes of bags under eyes

  1. Ageing
  2. Genetics
  3. Injury
  4. Kidney problems
  5. Lack of sleep
  6. Excess Salt Intake
  7. Allergies
  8. Conjunctivitis
  9. Periods - Its that time of the month
  10. Excessive crying
  11. Excess alcohol intake
  12. Thyroid hormone imbalance or thyroid eye disease
  13. Presemptal Cellulitis
  14. Orbital Cellulitis

Puffy eyelids symptoms

Puffy eyelids occur most commonly because of age or are genetic in nature. Thus, apart from a cosmetic blemish, they don't really cause much discomfort.

However, there are some serious causes of puffy eyes and these can cause the following

  1. Pain
  2. Blurry vision
  3. Floaters
  4. Fever
  5. Redness of the eyes
  6. Watering 
  7. Discharge
  8. Foreign body sensation

Puffy eyes in kids

As parents, we worry when our kids have puffy eyes. Usually, these occur because of common eye problems and some not so common

  1. Allergies
  2. Infective Conjunctivitis
  3. Injury
  4. Stye - Infection of the meibomian glands

Some dangerous and not-so-common eye problems are

  1. Preseptal cellulitis
  2. Orbital Cellulitis

Dark Circles and eye bags

You may have noticed that when you wake up from a long, sleepless sleep, you often look tired and have dark circles under your eyes. You probably saw shadows cast by puffiness under the eyes. Those dark areas may be hollowed-out spots under your eyes that develop normally as you age. Shadows are not the exact same thing as true under-eye dark circles.

 How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes

Here are 15 treatment options that may help in reducing your eye swelling.

  1. Sleep Sleep Sleep
    The importance of sleep cannot be repeated enough. Today, the lack of quality sleep is a huge issue the world over. Sleep provides much-needed rest and over time chronic fatigue causes many more problems than just puffy eyelids. It is important that you aim for 8 hours of sleep.
    The following can be done to not disturb your sleep cycle
    1. No alcohol or caffeine after 4 pm
    2. Dimming of room lights one hour before sleeping
    3. No gadgets one hour before sleeping
    4. Not sleeping right after dinner
    5. Cooling your room before getting into bed
  2. Address your allergies
    Both eyes, as well as other systemic allergies, can lead to bags under eyes. Eye allergic reactions are widespread in children and are treated with simple eye drops like olopatadine eye drops and fluorometholone eye drops. Usually, these are seasonal allergies but sometimes can occur for most of the year.
  3. Hydrate well
    Dehydration is also a very common issue these days. Make sure you drink plenty of water to keep your skin healthy. One way to do that would be to set up an hourly reminder on your phone to drink a glass of water.
  4. Reduce Salt Intake
    Salty food intake leads to water retention in the body. This water leaks from the blood vessels and enters tissues of the body, usually dependent areas, like the lower legs and lower eyelids. This fluid retention can be reduced by reducing our salt intake.
  5. Do cold compresses
    A cold compress makes the body conserve heat. This is done by constricting the blood vessels. Fluid as well as other cells which cause symptoms of allergy are present in the blood and the leakage of these substances reduces if the blood vessels constrict. Thus apart from reducing allergies cold compresses also help in reducing swelling if it is because of leakage of fluid from the blood vessels. This is done by dipping a napkin in cold water or using it to wrap ice cubes.
  6. Reduce or stop alcohol intake for some time
    Alcohol intake dehydrates you. It also affects your sleep. So try and reduce or avoid alcohol intake altogether for a few weeks and notice the change in your puffy eyelids.
  7. Use lubricants
    Dry eyes and skin can cause puffy eyelids. With the increased use of screens, dry eyes have become a very common problem. Lubricant help and there are many brands available in the market.
  8. Go and see a physician
    Eye puffiness could occur because of systemic diseases like blood pressure and kidney problems. Indirectly this is related to levels of salt and other metabolites in the body leading to fluid retention. In these medical conditions, puffy eyelids are only a symptom and not the problem and it is important that the problem is taken care of.
  9. See an eye specialist
    Common eye problems and some not so common cause puffy eyelids. Conjunctivitis would probably be the most common condition. Usually, eye problems leading to swollen eyelids are associated with other symptoms like itching, watering and discharge and therefore it is necessary to visit an eye specialist in Mumbai. Incase this is age-related one may need a procedure called blepharoplasty.
  10. Eat more potassium
    Potassium can help reduce excess fluids in your body, so you may want to ramp up your potassium intake. You can do this by adding bananas, beans, yoghurt, and leafy greens to your diet.

    If you're already eating a potassium-rich diet, talk to your doctor about whether your potassium level is fine as-is or if you can safely add a potassium supplement to your daily routine.
  11. If it's age-related then go see an eye doctor for surgery
    If you have other family members who had puffy eyes as they age most likely your puffy eyelids are age-related. This occurs because of the weakening of the supporting tissues around the eyelids. Usually, this type is corrected by surgery.
  12.  Take your make-up off before you go to bed
    Make-up not cleaned becomes an irritant to the delicate skin of the eyelid. This may aggravate dryness or cause an allergic reaction. It's important that make-up is removed every night and every time before sleeping.
  13. Switch your sleep position
    Sometimes swollen eyelids appear more prominent in the dependent position. This is because there is a lot of loose skin in the eyelid area. If you sleep on your right side the right eyelid may appear puffier. Most of the time this happens because of some systemic conditions. Propping oneself up also helps in reducing eye bags in these conditions.
  14. Chilled tea bags
    Once boiled the tea bags should be chilled before placing them on the eyelids. Apart from the benefits of cold, it is believed that the caffeine in the tea constricts the blood vessels thus reducing the swelling.
  15. See a skin specialist or dermatologist
    Dry skin as well as some other skin conditions can lead to swollen eyelids. Your skin specialist may be able to prescribe some ointments to help reduce the swelling.

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