When Are Puffy Eyes A Medical Problem
Puffy eyes can sometimes be a sign of an underlying medical condition. However, this is rare and often there are other symptoms. If having puffy eyes is causing you pain or discomfort, its best to get it checked by your GP.
There are some temporary, at home remedies that may help to reduce swollen eyes such as:
- Drinking more fluids, to prevent dehydration
- Applying a cold compress to closed eyes
- Applying cucumber slicers or chilled tea bags to closed eyes
If you are concerned about your puffy or swollen eyes, you should see your GP or local pharmacy for advice.
Questions For Diagnosing The Cause Of Eyelid Swelling
To diagnose the underlying cause of eyelid swelling, your primary care or may ask you several questions related to your symptoms:
- Describe the swelling. When did the swelling start? Does it come and go or is it constant?
- Did you eat any foods or come in contact with any unusual substances preceding the swelling?
- Are you experiencing any pain,shortness of breath, or other symptoms?
- Are any other areas swollen?
- How does the eyeball itself look?
- Provide your full medical history, including all medical conditions, surgeries and treatments, family history, and a complete list of the medications and dietary supplements that you take.
How Can You Prevent Eyelid Swelling
Preventing eyelid swelling depends on the cause.
- Allergies: For the most common cause of swollen eyelidsâallergiesâtaking allergy medicine daily will help prevent symptoms. Do not rub your eyes that will make swelling more likely. If eyelid swelling happens frequently, consider allergy testing to determine what you are allergic to. Once you identify the exact allergens, you can avoid them. Use hypoallergenic facial and makeup products. If you use eye drops for occasional redness and your eyes and eyelids become irritated, use preservative-free eye drops, as the preservative can irritate the eyes. You can purchase single-use artificial tears. Also, some people are allergic to contact lens material, especially silicone-containing lenses. Talk with your if you think your contacts may be the culprit.
- Infectious causes: Cleaning your eyelids twice a day with a mild cleanser can help prevent eyelid infections and swelling. If you wear eye makeup, do not share it with anyone. Treating eyelid conditions with at-home treatments and any medicines your doctor prescribes will help minimize eyelid swelling.
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Are There Other Therapies For Eye Allergies
Allergen immunotherapy is also an excellent treatment option for allergic conjunctivitis. If this is appropriate, an individual is seen by an allergist and completes testing for common airborne allergens. Based on the results, an allergist can prescribe immunotherapy that can not only improve symptoms but may also help get rid of existing allergies and also prevent future environmental allergies. Although immunotherapy is effective and safe, there is a small risk of allergic reaction .
Historically, immunotherapy requires frequent visits to the allergist for subcutaneous injections. As of 2014, the FDA has approved sublingual immunotherapy that can be administered at home for grass and ragweed allergy, so this may be an option for treatment depending on individual sensitivities There is less risk for an allergic reaction with this type of therapy compared to allergy shots.
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How To Treat Eyelid Swelling From Allergies
For eyelid swelling from such allergies as seasonal or animal allergy, try these at-home and over-the-counter remedies:
- Take an antihistamine or another type of allergy medicine.
- Gently rinse your eye and surrounding area with sterile saline .
- Apply cool compresses and rest with your head elevated.
For eyelid swelling associated with severe allergic reactions, contact a healthcare professional right away. The self-care measures still help reduce swelling, but you may need a shot of epinephrine at the doctorâs office or emergency department to calm the reaction.
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What Are The Potential Complications Of Eyelid Swelling
Complications associated with eyelid swelling can be progressive and vary depending on the underlying cause. Because eyelid swelling can be due to serious diseases, failure to seek treatment can result in complications and permanent damage. It is important to visit your healthcare provider when you experience any kind of persistent swelling or other unusual . Once the underlying cause is diagnosed, following the treatment plan outlined by your doctor can help reduce any potential complications including:
- Chronic discomfort orpain
Fluid Retention Due To Other Medical Conditions
Fluid can gather throughout the body if you are retaining fluid – a condition called oedema. Whilst fluid retention is often noticeable in the fingers, around the lips and lower face, around the feet and ankles, and in the lower part of the back, you may notice it first in your eyelids because of the effect this has on your facial appearance.
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What Are The Treatments And Home Remedies For Puffy Eyes
For normal puffy eyes that are not caused by other eye conditions, there are many ways to reduce the swelling. The following is a list of ways to treat puffy eyes:
- Wash face with ice cold water
- Ice or cold packs
- Increase vitamin and mineral intake
- Drink plenty of water to clean out your system
- If puffy eyes are caused by allergies, discontinue using the item that causes the allergic reaction doctors may also provide shots or prescribe medication
- Cream for puffy eyes: Try a soothing eye cream with aloe and Vitamin E also look into certain products such as Revitalume and Swanson Creams Vitamin K cream
- Eye masks to apply mild pressure to the eyelids at night
You may have noticed that common cucumber and tea bag treatment methods are not mentioned here. This is because these items are not recommended by eye care professionals. Cucumbers are over 90 percent water, and the rest is mainly inert fiber.
Although cucumbers do reduce puffy eyes, it is the coldness of the cucumber that does the trick, not the cucumber itself. Coldness is known to constrict blood vessels, which reduces the flow of fluid into soft tissues.
Eye care professionals recommend using a washcloth dipped in cold water, which has the same effect. The reason cucumbers are not recommended is that food sometimes contains bacteria. Putting a possible bacteria source directly onto the eyes can lead to eye infections. The same is true of tea bags.
Apply Cucumber Slices Or Tea Bags
Cucumber slices can also help soothe puffy eyes and reduce swelling, but you have to have a refrigerated cucumber on hand. If you do, wash your cucumber before cutting two 1/4-inch slices off. You can save the rest of the cucumber for later. Keep the slices on your eyelids until theyre no longer cool.
The idea with using tea bags is all about caffeine. Most varieties of black tea contain caffeine, and theres some evidence that it can penetrate the skin, ease puffiness, and increase circulation. To try this method, wet two tea bags, refrigerate for 20 minutes, and then place them on your eyes for 15 to 30 minutes.
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The Difference Between Puffy And Swollen Eyelids
Many people may develop puffy eyes and think, at first, that their eyelids are swollen. There are some differences between puffy and swollen that are important to keep in mind, however.
Puffy eyes may be inherited, caused by a lack of sleep, or due to crying. Stress, fatigue, and allergies may all contribute to puffy eyes, which can obstruct your vision and become uncomfortable. Puffy eyes typically do not have other symptoms associated with them, however, and they can be safely treated at home.
You may go for a spa treatment and place cucumber slices over your eyes you may use a small amount of Preparation H to reduce swelling or you could take an antihistamine, which will reduce inflammation all over your body. These at-home treatments for puffiness are safe and effective in the short term.
There are many common causes of puffy eyes.
- Eating too much salt, leading to fluid retention
- Allergies that lead to inflammation
- Irritation around the eyes from cosmetics
- Sinus problems or infection
Puffiness typically goes away on its own and does not have other symptoms associated with it. Swelling in the eyelids, however, can indicate a different underlying condition or a more serious problem with your health.
Understanding the different potential causes of swollen eyes, and the symptoms associated with them, can help you determine when to see a doctor for medical treatment.
Wash Your Hands And Face Frequently
As mentioned above, many eye allergy symptoms come from allergens landing on the eye. In addition to floating airborne allergens, your eyes could also suffer from contact with allergens that are transferred in on your skin or hair.
Wash your hands more frequently during allergy season. You should also wash your face twice a day and rinse the area around your eyes as needed. These steps reduce the concentration of allergens on your skin. You may also want to pin back any hair that may cover your face at eye height to minimize your allergen exposure.
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How Can I Prevent My Eyes From Becoming Puffy
There are several things you can do to prevent your eyes from becoming puffy. Tips to avoid puffy eyes include:
- Avoiding rubbing your eyes apply cold compresses when itching occurs
- Avoid irritants such as smoke
- Avoid allergens when possible
- Drink plenty of water to avoid water retention and to keep your body cleansed
- Do not use cucumbers, tea bags, or other foods to reduce puffy eyes foods contain bacteria that may cause an infection
- Increase your vitamin intake
- Avoid excessive amounts of alcohol, especially before bed
- Avoid or limit sodium when possible
- Talk with your eye doctor about avoiding puffy eyes altogether
As mentioned above, vitamins can play a major role in your eyes overall health. Healthy eyes are usually resistant to such problems, and vitamins can help improve the condition of the skin, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels in and around the eyes.
Use this chart to monitor your daily vitamin intake. Talk with your eye care professional or health care provider before increasing or decreasing your daily dosage of vitamins.
How To Choose A Doctor
The eye area is a very delicate part of the face. Serious complications can arise if procedures are done improperly. Its crucial to find a highly experienced, board-certified surgeon who specializes in treatment of the eyelid area.
Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery
For more information and videos answering commonly asked questions about cosmetic procedures, visit the Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
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Things You Can Do Immediately
You can treat swollen eyelids at home, especially if they are caused by fluid retention, stress, allergies, or lack of sleep. If those are possible causes, then swelling will often be in both eyes.
If your puffy eyes are due to allergies, you can use antihistamine eye drops. For severe allergic reactions, you may need prescription eye drops. Oral antihistamines can also help.
If your eyelids are painful or tender to the touch, the cause is likely an infection, cyst, or stye. Its important to determine the cause of your swollen eyelid, as treatment options depend on what caused it.
What Are Eyelids Made Of
Your eyelids are there to protect your eyes and to keep the surface of the eye from drying out.
Each eyelid consists of thin skin , muscle and a lid-shaped piece of thick fibrous material called the tarsal plate. These tarsal plates contain Meibomian glands which produce oily material which helps keep the eye and eyelid lubricated. The inside of each eyelid is lined by an inner layer of conjunctiva, a smooth translucent membrane which covers the inner surface of the eyelids and the outer surface of the white of the eye. The conjunctiva then reflects back on to the eye, so there is NO GAP at the edge of your eyelid down which you can lose a contact lens!
Your upper eyelid includes all of the skin from the lid edge up to your eyebrow whilst your lower eyelid ends where the thicker skin of your cheek begins.
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Cleanse With Moisturizing Face Wash
Use a face wash that wont strip away moisture and dry out skin even more. CeraVe Moisturizing Face Cleanser removes dirt and makeup from skin while maintaining its protective barrier. This formula was developed by dermatologists and is also noncomedogenic, phthalate-free, and fluoride-free.
Neutrogena Hydro Boost Gel Cleanser is another hydrating wash you can find at most drugstores. It contains hyaluronic acid that increases skins hydration and locks it in. This brand is also recommended by dermatologists.
Each product has its own instructions, so read the package labels carefully. Washing in the morning and at night is enough. Use lukewarm water and your fingertips and gently pat dry with a soft towel.
How To Get Rid Of Puffy Eyes
To find the best solution for puffy eyes and dark circles, it’s important to identify the underlying cause.
Many temporary remedies may help reduce the appearance of puffy eyes, such as:
Using eye drops to relieve any irritation
Drinking plenty of water to prevent dehydration
Applying iced compresses if your eyelids look puffy
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
If you have the same puffy appearance around your eyes as your mother or father, it’s probably an inherited trait. In this case, you might want to consider cosmetic eyelid surgery to get rid of the puffiness.
Puffy eyes due to aging also can be eliminated with cosmetic eyelid surgery .
You might want to discuss with your eye doctor or cosmetic surgeon some of the other procedures available to lessen the appearance of puffy eyes and dark circles under the eyes. These include chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing.
One of the most common home remedies for puffy eyes, as mentioned above, is use of hemorrhoid creams and ointments on the skin around your eyes. A common active ingredient in these preparations is phenylephrine, which is a medication that constricts blood vessels.
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Red Eye Is A Common Eye Problem
Red eye is one of the most common eye problems for which people visit a doctor. A description of symptoms and an eye examination by the doctor will usually suggest the cause:
- Pus containing discharge usually indicates that there is bacterial infection.
- Clear discharge suggests a viral or allergic cause.
- Itch and clear discharge suggests an allergic cause, possibly allergic conjunctivitis.
- Mild discomfort or burning often with excess watering may be due to dry eye.
- Vision loss, discomfort in bright sunlight and pain suggest more serious conditions, which should be investigated by an eye specialist .
- A gritty sensation is common in conjunctivitis, but the presence of a foreign body must be excluded, particularly if only one eye is affected.
Swelling Of Eye: Clues To The Cause
- Swelling of 1 eye is often due to an insect bite. Mosquito bites are a common cause. It can also be from an irritant transferred to the eye by the hands.
- Suspect mosquito bites if there are bites on other parts of the body. Insect bites of the upper face can cause the eyelid to swell. This can last for a few days. With insect bites, the swelling can be pink as well as large. Large swelling is common for ages 1-5 years.
- Swelling of both eyes is usually due to pollen that’s airborne. This includes tree, grass or weed pollen. These pollens float in the air and can travel hundreds of miles. Itching also makes the swelling worse.
- Swelling of the face is usually due to allergic reactions to swallowed substances. Examples are foods or medicines. May be part of a severe allergic reaction.
- Allergic reactions to antibiotic eyedrops can cause severe swelling of both eyes.
- Swollen eyelids from insect bites, pollens or other allergies are itchy.
- Swollen eyelids from eyelid infections are painful and tender to the touch.
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How To Get Rid Of Bags Under Your Eyes
Are you wondering why you have puffy eyes or how you can make under-eye bags disappear? Good news: Although they can be bothersome, bags under your eyes dont usually impact vision or health. But if you want to reduce the puffiness around your eyes, there are temporary and long-lasting solutions.
Gently Tap Or Massage The Area To Stimulate Blood Flow
You can work to increase blood flow to the affected area by gently tapping or massaging around your eyes.
To do this:
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