You’re Eating Too Much Salt
You already know this one, but you may not realize salt is in just about everything even when you cant taste it. High salt intake causes the kidneys to retain water, which leads to swelling in general. The skin under the eye is very delicate and puffiness is more significant in that location, Dr. Wolinsky explains.
She also notes that the swelling caused by salt is most prominent in the mornings and should decrease as the day goes on. If you cant seem to determine what is causing your puffy eyes, try taking a sodium break and re-evaluating.
Common Causes Of Swollen Eyelids
A stye is an infection located in the eyelid that causes redness, eyelid swelling, and slight pain or tenderness and is caused by a bacteria that can live in the base of an eyelash or in oil glands within the eyelids. Styes are contagious, but most people have stye causing bacteria in their body already. The main risk is usually limited to passing it from one eye to the other. Styes will typically heal on their own in a few days. Using a warm compress can help speed up the healing process.
A chalazion is a swollen lump on the eyelid caused by a clogged oil gland but isnt usually painful like a traditional stye might be. Warm compresses can help, but a chalazion might need to be treated by a doctor with medications. Its always best to consult your doctor if a swollen eyelid does not improve after a few days.
Blepharitis is a recurring eyelid inflammation in which the eyelids become red, itchy and flake like scales can develop on the base of the eyelashes. You can lessen the likelihood of blepharitis with good hygiene. Frequently washing your face, using warm compresses and gently massaging the eyelids to loosen any blocked oil glands can help reduce irritation and prevent it from recurring.
You Have A Thyroid Problem
Most of the time, puffy eyes arent a big deal, but they can be a side effect of a bigger health issue. Patients with some types of hyperthyroidism can get thickening of the fat around their eyes, causing puffy eyes, says Dr. Swann. Puffy eyelids can also be seen in lupus, dermatomyositis, and other connective tissue diseases.
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Invest In A Great Eye Cream And Use It Consistently
When shopping for under-eye remedies, Look for a good moisturizing eye cream with ingredients such as green tea, caffeine, niacinamide, peptides and other antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels to reduce puffiness, advises Finney.
My absolute favorite is the Alastin Restorative Eye Treatment, which has anti-inflammatory properties but also contains a peptide that stimulates collagen to help improve wrinkles and other signs of aging, he says. The best part is that it is non-irritating. Many eye creams that promise wrinkle reduction contain retinol, and although retinol is great for anti-aging, it can often be irritating in the eye area, given that the skin around the eye is the thinnest and most sensitive anywhere on the body.
Retinol is a type of retinoid, which is a derivative of vitamin A. It is an antioxidant used in anti-aging skincare products.
For an all-natural eye cream to soothe and de-puff eyes, turn to cold aloe vera gel, which boasts anti-inflammatory properties. Keep a bottle in your fridge and then apply it just like you would eye cream.
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You Consume Too Much Sodium
The sodium and puffy-eye connection is simple: Sodium causes your body to hold onto fluid, and that includes in the tissues surrounding your eyes as well. Sodium is the main mineral in salt, so salty foods such as chips and cold cuts are major swollen-eye culprits. But sodium is also hidden in tons of packaged products, including bread, soup, and frozen meals.
People who consume foods containing MSG can also find themselves dealing with fluid retention. MSG is a flavor enhancer added to some products, and though it doesn’t have as much sodium as table salt, sodium is a main ingredient of MSG that can “increase water retention and puffiness around the eyes,” explained Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York Citybased dermatologist, in an email to Health.
To get rid of the puff, cut back your sodium intake. How much salt is too much? “It varies from person to person,” said Dr. McLaughlin, “but the CDC suggest that most adults stick to less than 2,300 mg of sodium daily.”
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Preventing Swollen Eyes At Home
If you frequently suffer from swollen eyes, avoiding triggers is critical. Regularly taking allergy medications and avoiding irritants such as certain eye makeup, pollen, dust, pet dander and chlorine from swimming pools can help stop the problem of swollen eyes before it begins.
If you play sports, consider wearing protective eyewear like sport glasses or goggles in order to prevent eye injuries that may cause swollen eyes.
For the overall health of your eyes, see an eye doctor once a year for an annual eye exam and evaluation.
Page published on Wednesday, October 14, 2020
Page updated on Monday, November 8, 2021
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You Have A Kidney Problem
Although its more likely that your diet or sleep schedule is causing your eyes to swell, its not impossible that there is something going on inside that needs to be addressed. Kidney and liver issues could be an explanation for puffy under-eyes since they are essential to regulating electrolytes and health conditions that lead to the retention of fluids, says Dr. Wolinsky.
If you feel as though your body is retaining water past a reasonable degree, it may be worthwhile to seek medical assistance to check your kidneys. As soon as the blood electrolytes are normalized with kidney or liver dysfunction, fluid retention would improve and under-eye swelling should improve, Dr. Wolinsky says.
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Do I Need To See A Doctor For My Puffy Eyes
Probably not, Dr. Gabriel says. With increased salt intake or alcohol, fluid retention, especially first thing in the morning, will be increased. If the puffiness improves throughout the day and is reversible with improved sleep and diet, then its of no medical concern, Dr. Wolinsky explains. Normally, your puffy eyes are not a red flag for a more serious condition.
However, if the puffiness remains despite a healthy diet and good sleep hygiene, it would be important to seek medical attention. If you suspect your puffy eyes may be linked to a thyroid issue, or if you’re having pain behind your eyes, or an abnormally severe case of water retention, you should seek medical attention immediately.
If one eye is more swollen than the other, you may have an infection, Dr. Sherber explains. It could be caused by shingles, so you should seek out a dermatologist or ophthalmologist ASAP.
Other than that, any puffiness you have around your eyes is totally normal, and nothing to be worried about or embarrassed of. If you do want de-puff and minimize the appearance of under-eye bags, the products below can help you out.
9 Products To Hide Puffy Eyes
Tarte SEA Pack Your Bags Undereye Patches
You Didn’t Sleep Well Last Night
We know you know this already, but it bears repeating: A bad nights sleep could make your eyes appear swollen in the morning, especially if youre stressed. When youre under stress, you release cortisol from your adrenal glands, and that changes the salt balance in the body, says Mike Swann, MD, a dermatologist at Swann Dermatology in Springfield, Missouri. Because your salt balance is off, you might retain water and swell.
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Who Gets Puffy Eyes
Puffiness under the eyes is a common symptom of allergies, lack of sleep, stress, and poor diet. Eyes will become puffy when the skin around the eyes becomes irritated and itchy. People who consume large amounts of alcohol and sodium before bed may wake up with puffy eyes due to water retention.
Stress may cause your skin and eyes, as well as other parts of the body, to weaken and become susceptible to problems such as swelling.
Other times, puffy eyes are a symptom of an eye condition such as blepharitis, which is inflammation of the eyelids and base of the eyelashes. Most of the possible causes are discussed in this article.
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.
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Other Causes Of Eyelid Swelling
Eyelid swelling can be due to a variety of infections and other conditions, including:
- cavernous sinus thrombosis, which refers to a blood clot in the cavity at the base of the brain
- organ failure, such as heart, liver, or kidney failure
- shingles, or herpes zoster ophthalmicus
- sinus infection or sinusitis
Because a swollen eyelid can be a symptom of a serious underlying condition, speak with your doctor if your eyelid swelling persists or if you experience additional symptoms.
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Get Help From Medical Professionals For Serious Issues With Swollen Eyelids
The health of your eyes reflects your overall physical health. When a saline solution, cool compress, anti-inflammatory drugs, or any of the other suggestions above do not reduce puffy or swollen eyelids, or the condition is accompanied by a rash, fever, serious itching, redness, or discharge, you should see a doctor.
Infections and inflammation can lead to damage to your eyes and even cause blindness when untreated. Often, swelling that does not go away indicates an underlying medical condition that requires more intensive treatment.
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There Are Several Signs Of Allergic Conjunctivitis
Typical signs and symptoms of allergic conjunctivitis include:
- Redness in both eyes.
- Itching and burning of both the eye and surrounding tissues.
- Watery discharge, often accompanied by acute discomfort in bright sunlight light .
- The conjunctiva itself may become very swollen and look light purple, and this may interfere with clarity of vision.
Eyelids may also be affected by an allergic reaction, causing the loose tissues of the lid to become swollen with subsequent drooping of the eyelid. In cases of severe swelling, the lids cannot open and the gap between the upper and lower lids becomes slit like.
It is important to note that blurred vision or corneal haze require urgent referral to an eye specialist.
Allergic conjunctivitis symptoms may be:
- Perennial due to exposure to dust mite, animal dander, indoor and outdoor mould spores and occasionally foods or food additives.
- Seasonal due to airborne allergens such as pollen of grasses, trees and weeds. Pollen allergy symptoms vary from day to day, depending on the weather, improving in wet weather and worsening on hot windy days or after thunderstorms. There are also seasonal variations in some airborne mould spores, which may cause seasonal symptoms.
Ask Dr K: Remedies Abound For Allergy
Dear Doctor K: I have allergies, and my eyes are affected the most. They’re puffy, red and itchy. What can I do?
Dear Reader: Pollens, animal dander, dust mites and mold: The same allergens that cause sneezing and an itchy nose and throat can trigger allergy symptoms that affect your eyes, too. If your eyes are red and itchy, you may also have tearing, mucous discharge and swelling of your conjunctiva . This constellation of symptoms is known as allergic conjunctivitis. It can be uncomfortable, but it is not a threat to vision.
To help improve your symptoms, try to avoid whatever triggers your allergies. If you are allergic to cats, avoid them, or at least don’t touch your eyes when near one. If pollen is your nemesis, keep your windows closed. And keep an air purifier or air conditioner going in pollen season.
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Eye Symptoms And Anaphylaxis
An allergic reaction to a food, insect sting or bite, or medication may cause eye symptoms with swelling, itching and redness of the conjunctiva and soft tissues around the eyes. Individuals who are at risk of anaphylaxis should be referred to a clinical immunology/allergy specialist.
Eating of foods containing monosodium glutamate or the preservative sodium metabisulfite will occasionallycause swelling and redness of the eye. However this is not a true allergic reaction and therefore symptoms will be less severe.
Â© ASCIA 2019
ASCIA is the peak professional body of clinical immunology/allergy specialists in Australia and New Zealand.
ASCIA resources are based on published literature and expert review, however, they are not intended to replace medical advice. The content of ASCIA resources is not influenced by any commercial organisations.
For more information go to www.allergy.org.au
To donate to immunology/allergy research go to www.allergyimmunology.org.au
Content updated April 2019
Drink Oolong Tea To Ease Allergy Symptoms
Oolong tea, which is essentially tea thats been partially fermented, has been found to help relieve the symptoms of eye and nasal allergies. A Japanese study found that it reduced allergy symptoms like itchy eyes and tears even during a period when pollen count was high.10 Oolong tea can add to the effects of anti-allergy agents and even help you cut the use of these medicines. So sip on a cup of soothing tea to deal with that irritating allergy.
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Can Allergies Cause Dry Eyes
If your eyes feel dry and irritated in the winter months when there are fewer outdoor allergens, then you may have a form of tear dysfunction known as dry eye, or keratoconjunctivitis sicca. This is not an allergic reaction it happens when your eyes either do not make enough tears or the tears they make go away very quickly.
Many people have dry eye, including about one-third of older adults. Its commonly found in people with eye allergies as well. Symptoms are sometimes worse when its cold or windy outside, after you turn on the heat in your home, or if youre in a dry environment. Some medications, including oral antihistamines, sleeping pills and anti-depressants, can cause symptoms.
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Overview Of Swollen Eye Allergy Reaction:
Glaucoma is a condition in which there is high pressure in the eye which forces it to move forward and makes the eye look swollen and prominent. It is a condition that requires specialist examination and treatment, not home treatment.
The common name for allergic conjunctivitis is a pink eye, which has allergic triggers that make the front of the eye red and inflamed.
The obvious culprits are airborne allergens such as pollen, dander, dust, and dust obtained from industrial plants and construction sites.
Perhaps an air filter in the house will help. Removing allergens from the air alone can provide considerable relief so HEPA Filters are worth thinking about.
Contact lenses can also cause problems. Perhaps some of the infection is irritating and creating a review of how your lenses will look. Suitable for testing with the experts who provided them
Make-up allergies are common. Makeup and personal care products contain many different chemicals that affect people with sensitive skin. Try using a different make or even one!
Dry eyes are also common and allow people to take eye drops. Those eye drops rarely irritate the eye and swelling is the result. A different eye drop formula could do the trick.
Sinusitis, inflammation of the sinus cavity is often accompanied by pain, rash, and swelling around the eyes, and your general allergy remedy should reduce the swelling because anti-histamines do their job.
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You Keep In Your Contact Lenses Too Long
Leave your contacts in for too long, and it could leave you with puffy eyes. A contact lens is “a barrier to the eye,” explained Dr. McLaughlin. This barrier prevents oxygen from reaching the eyes, which can make your corneas swell. If you sleep in your lenses, you’re putting more stress on your corneas and make the swelling even more pronounced.
So although it can be inconvenient, the best advice is to make sure you take them out before hitting the sack. Instead of waiting until the last sleepy minute, one trick is to remove your contact lenses in the late afternoon or eveningso you don’t forget or get lazy, doze off in them, and wake up with puffy eyes.