What Causes Puffy Eyes: Causes and Remedies


There are many issues that people keep ignoring on a day to day basis, just because they seem to get along with it. Issues pertaining to eyes are a part of this problem. People don’t take care of their eyes until something serious happens. Puffy eyes are one such problem. Puffy eyes and dark circles under the eyes occur for many reasons, including inherited facial features, allergies, stress, eye fatigue and individual skin characteristics such as texture. While certain home remedies such as soothing cucumber slices — or even anti-hemorrhoid creams such as Preparation H — may temporarily relieve puffy eyes, a more long-lasting solution depends on the underlying cause. In this article, we will discuss all the causes and remedies of puffy eyes. Read on to find out all about puffy eyes.

puffy eyes

In this article:

Causes of Puffy Eyes
When Do Puffy Eyes Mean You Have a Medical Condition?
Remedies for Puffy Eyes

Causes and Treatments of a Puffy Eyes

Causes of Puffy Eyes

Puffy eyes generally result from a variety of factors, including:

  • Over consumption of salt, which causes fluid retention
  • Allergies that can cause inflammation and swelling
  • Sinus problems
  • Dehydration
  • Fatigue and lack of sleep
  • Stress
  • Crying
  • Aging
  • Inherited facial features

While the last answer isn’t very satisfying, it’s true that many people have puffy eyes because this trait simply runs in the family. With aging, eye puffiness can be caused in part when fatty tissue that ordinarily protects the eye inside the bony eye socket begins to push forward and fill in the spaces below the eye. This happens because aging processes cause thinning of the membrane or “septum” that ordinarily holds back fat in both the upper and lower eyelids. As the membrane thins, the fat herniated and pushes forward. This is when bags or bulges start forming under the eye.

When Do Puffy Eyes Mean You Have a Medical Condition?

Particularly when they occur unexpectedly, swollen eyes sometimes signal an underlying medical problem. For example, people with thyroid eye disease can develop swelling of tissue and muscles around their eyes. Also, bulging eyes can signal a thyroid disorder known as Graves’ disease. Eye allergies related to conditions such as hay fever also can produce swollen eyes. Other types of allergies, such as reactions to certain foods or chemicals, can cause swollen eyelids. During an allergic reaction, certain cells in the body release a chemical called histamine that has many adverse effects on body tissues, including fluid leakage from the blood vessels. These fluids become trapped in surrounding tissues, causing edema.

Puffy, swollen eyelids and dark circles under the eyes can occur when you have an eye infection such as pink eye. These swollen eyes are caused by inflammation associated with the eye infection, which directly affects the neighboring eyelids. Also, dry eyes can cause general puffiness and swelling. Systemic diseases including kidney failure also can lead to general swelling throughout the body, including around the eyes.

Remedies for Puffy Eyes

To find the best solution for puffy eyes and dark circles, it’s important to identify the underlying cause. If you have the same puffy eyes as your mother or father, you probably inherited the trait — so you can blame your parents! In this case, you will need to learn to live with the look or consider cosmetic options that might help reduce the puffiness. Puffy eyes caused by aging also probably would require a cosmetic solution.


You might want to discuss with your eye doctor or cosmetic surgeon some of the available options to address your eyelid concerns.

These options include chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing procedures, certain cosmeceuticals (prescription skin products) and eyelid surgery known as blepharoplasty. Blepharoplasty involves removing extra fatty tissue and excessive skin from the upper and lower eyelids, as well as tightening skin and muscles to reduce puffiness and wrinkles.

Many temporary remedies can help reduce the swollen look around eyes, such as:

  • Using eye drops for irritation caused by allergies, if appropriate
  • Drinking ample fluids to prevent dehydration
  • Applying iced compresses when your lids are swollen
  • Applying cucumber slices or chilled tea bags over closed eyes
  • Using creams and other skin products specially formulated for use around the eyes
  • Reducing salt in your diet
  • Eating potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, to eliminate excess fluids in your body
  • Splashing cold water over your face and eyes
  • Getting plenty of sleep and rest

Before trying this, you should ask your eye doctor about the wisdom of using hemorrhoid creams or other home remedies for puffy eyes. It is important to be careful when it comes to issues related to your eyes.



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