Waking up early in the morning when you are in a rush only to find that you have puffy eyes is a major bummer. If those puffy eyes are coupled with dark circles as well, now this is what we call a disaster. It is not a pretty look and can make us feel flustered as we try to mask the puffiness on our face with makeup only for it to be hard to hide.
Before we start thinking about how to treat puffy eyes. Let us first be familiar with what really are puffy eyes and then hover around the topic on how to get rid of puffy eyes. Though having puffy eyes is quite common these days due to various reasons such as tiredness, lack of proper sleep, and various medical reasons. It does not majorly affect anyone.
Why does anyone have puffy eyes?
We cannot pinpoint an actual reason as to why anyone gets puffy eyes. But, it can be deduced with various factors that puffiness around your eyes generally means that there is an accumulation of fluid which is excessive than the extensive amount. Coupled with the fact that the skin around the eyes is the thinnest in the body. It is generally more hard to hide and easy to find.
Some of the medical reasons which might be the reason for puffy eyes can be:
The idea behind having allergies in your eyes can be due to severe allergies. As the skin around eyes is generally thinner than any other body part, it is easier to contract an allergy if you don’t take proper care. Allergies can be the main reason you have puffy eyes as your eyes can be irritated by allergens floating in the air like pollen, animal dander or dust.
Lisa Ellman-Grunther, MD an allergist in New York City says in an email to Health that “Sometimes the cavities behind the eyes can become inflamed due to inhalation of the allergens over the nasal passages,”
If the reason behind your puffy eyes is allergy, it’s possible that your eyes will tend to be itchy and watery. Dryness and flakiness on the skin, mainly your eyelids can also be an indication of an allergy, says Dr. Ellman-Grunther.
Eye-drops will generally do the deed to reduce allergy induced puffiness and wash away the allergens right out of your eyes. It is better to use eye-drops prescribed by the doctor and not buying them over the counter as prolonged use can make you dependent on them and not cure you of the actual problem.
While it is hard to avoid allergies, it is better to have some spectacles or goggles if you wish to travel to a place which is full of dust. Dust or pollen can be a primary factor in fall or spring as plants and trees generally release pollen during that season making the symptoms worse. So, it is better to keep the windows shut and to get an air filter.
2. Pink Eye:
If you have a pink eye, you’d know it as it is super contagious. Also known as conjunctivitis, pink eye changes the membranes which line the eyes to turn into a pinkish-red color and finally causing eye discharge and swelling.
It is difficult to say if a virus or a bacteria cause your pink eye or conjunctivitis. A viral pink eye usually follows a colorless discharge which can be comparably mild. On the other side, a pink eye caused by bacteria leads to a yellowish green discharge (a lot of it).
If you find that a viral infection triggers your pink eye, “it can be associated with an upper respiratory infection” says Kira Manusis, MD, an ophthalmologist at New York. She also states that it usually starts in one eye and spreads to another. A viral pink eye tends to clear in 5-10 days.
There is a third form of pink eye which causes eye puffiness, an allergy-related pink eye which affects both the eyes at the same and causes colorless discharge along with itching in the corners of eyes. If sneezing and running nose occurs with pink eye, it is usually allergy-related, says Dr. Manusis.
3. Keeping contacts for too long
Leaving the contact lens in your eyes for too long can also leave you with puffy eyes. A contact lens actually “acts as a barrier to the eye” says Dr. McLaughlin. This obstacle obstructs oxygen from reaching the eyes which can in return make your corneas swell. Furthermore, if you don’t remove the lens before sleeping, stress on your corneas increases. It makes the swelling even more apparent.
There are often chances that your eyes can catch the infection if you don’t take proper care while storing your lenses for prolonged use. Puffy eyes are quite common if you wear your lenses even after it’s expiry date or doesn’t change the lens solution every day that you’re using for storing your lenses.
You should also remember not to wear contact lenses for more than ten hours and use a good brand as nothing can be as important as your eyes. Puffy eyes can be an indication that everything is not well with your eyes.
Though inconvenient, it is best if you try using spectacles as much as possible and restrict the use of contact lens for any special occasions and better take them off before sleeping to reduce the puffiness.
Instead of waiting for the last minute before you sleep, it is better to remove them as soon as you arrive at home and switch to spectacles to avoid looking at bloated eyes the next time you wake up from a nap.
Have you ever wondered as to why your eyes get puffy after you cry? It’s because the tears after an emotional outburst contain an increased amount of water than other tears (when something falls in your eyes, and your eyes water automatically to eliminate the dust particles from your eyes). When the tears hit the ocular tissues which have a high salt content, the tissues tend to swell.
“It is true that the tears which secrete while crying have a contrasting composition to different hormonal response” explains Dr. Manusis. It also can’t be helped that, after crying people tend to rub their eyes or try to mask their tears, making their eyes puffy.
To reduce the puffiness after a small crying session which might be a sad film or getting teary-eyed at a wedding, do apply a cold compress to your eyes for a few minutes. If that doesn’t work, a splash of cold water coupled with a little concealer will do the trick.
5. Sodium Intake
The connection between sodium and a puffy eye is straightforward. Sodium causes your body to hold on to the fluid, which includes the tissues surrounding your eyes as well. Salt is generally rich in sodium, and we daily consume lots of salty foods like chips, fries.
Sodium is also a hidden ingredient in a lot of packaged products like bread, soup, and frozen meals. It sums up to what we eat every day.
Sodium rich food also causes fluid retention. MSG, a flavor enhancer has its main ingredient as sodium which in “return cause water retention and puffiness around the eyes” explains Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City-based dermatologist. To get rid of the puffiness around your eyes, control your sodium intake and increase veggies in your diet.
Excessive intake of any alcohol cause bloating and all sorts of body issues. It is a common fact that alcohol is also a contributor to puffy eyes.
“Alcohol reduces anti-diuretic hormone which in return causes puffiness,” says Dr. McLAughlin.
Though alcohol is said to be a depressant, it usually makes it hard for people to sleep which makes people turn and toss on the bed and not able to dream. This leads to no proper sleep and causing fluid retention. It is best to avoid alcohol to reduce fluid retention from reducing the anti-diuretic hormones. If drinking is mandatory, it is best to stick to two drinks per night for a male, and one drink if you’re a female.
7. Artificial Sweeteners
An artificial sweetener has saccharin and aspartame which is said to promote inflammation throughout the body, and yes including the eye area. It is similar to regular sugar in every aspect, and when your body intakes artificial sweetener, your immune system releases white blood cells as a defense mechanism to fight foreign organisms like bacteria or virus.
But when the immune system needs to do it often, it can instead have the opposite effect which leads to “joint pain, damage to the blood vessels, and fatigue,” explains a professor in New York. Artificial sweeteners have been linked to the human body, having affected the eyes as well.
The only advice would be to reduce the intake of sodas and other products which have fake sugar substitutes though it states that it’s healthy. Remember that no sugar is healthy! To reduce puffy eyes caused by artificial sweetener you should consume natural vegetable tomato, ginger.
8. Sensitive to fragrance
Pollen, animal dander, and dust particles are not the only particles present in the air which can cause puffy eyes. Perfumes along with scented products which are used to market also contribute to puffiness. It can happen if a person has sensitive eyes or are allergic to the fragrance.
“When choosing perfumes, try to use those that are fragrance-free,” says Dr. Jaliman. When you spray on perfume on yourselves or anyone, try to aim it away from the face to keep the scented particles as far from the eyes as possible.
Sensitivity to fragrance is nothing new; a study states that a long time exposure to fragrances can lead to many ailments like migraines and asthma. 14% of the people in the study had reported eye issues when they were within the radius of certain scents.
Age is also a benefactor for puffy eyes. You should always try to adopt healthy habits and avoid alcohol. Eat healthy food, green leafy vegetables, and have a peaceful sleep of 7-8 hours per night. Your eyes have that little black circles which become prominent as your age increases day by day.
Genes can also play a vital role in the problem of puffiness around the eyes. But genetics usually shows up this problem later in life, which means somewhere around your 30’s or 40’s. Though, the eye puffiness is said to be shown in youngsters if you are quite unlucky.
What happens as you age is that fat that supports the eyes start to sag, which in return causes a puffy eye effect, explains Dr. McLaughlin. The tissue and the muscles which surround the eyes weaken, which adds to the swollen appearance. So, we can deduce that puffy eyes which come with age is not a medical concern and you are predestined to have them. There are a few people whose skin hasn’t aged a bit, but it can also be the other way.
To slow down the appearance of the puffy eyes, you should stop smoking, as smoking dries out the skin and reduce collagen, which are critical factors in the promotion of puffed up eyes and can also start bolstering saggy eye bags.
10. Sleeping schedule
We often associate the dark circles under their eyes is related to the lack of sleep. Although, Dr. McLaughlin states that “Lack of sleep is not the cause for under eye bags and puffiness, but it just makes them puffier and more noticeable.” Not all people who skimp on sleep may get swollen eyes, but it is indeed an indefinite consequence for most of us.
The solution to this problem is not difficult to know, get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and create a peaceful environment in your bedroom. It means that not binge-watching TV in bed or operating any smart-phone and instead dedicate yourself to sleep.
If you still don’t get enough sleep, try not to rub your eyes awake unnecessarily. Rubbing your eyes is a reflexive habit which might be the reason why you are wide awake at midnight and in return is related to the puffiness around your eyes.
How to treat puffy eyes?
Yoga is said to be one of the most relaxing things to do in the world. Whenever you feel stressed, you need to close your eyes and breath evenly. But, interestingly “puffy eyes can also be treated with face yoga,” says Danielle Collins, a face yoga expert and further suggests a few yoga techniques which you can perform on a daily basis.
The exercises would be fundamental. Gently tap your index fingers underneath the eyes and above the eyebrows nice and smoothly while making sure you breathe normally. But, make sure that your hands are clean and sanitized before you do any form of exercise.
This exercise would help in boosting circulation, and as we boost the circulation, fresh blood, nutrients and oxygen up to the skin.
For the second part of the exercise, we need to take our index fingers and gently smooth over the under eye area. Just make sure that you are not dragging the fingers as the skin under the eyes is delicate. Next step, would be the middle-V, which would require you to hold two fingers from each hand in the shape of a V and place them to their either side of the nose and the other at the corner of the eye.
The final part in this face yoga would be, to put your palm on your forehead and look up to the ceiling. While you look up to the ceiling, try not to move your forehead and make is as still as possible. Just using your eyes, look down on the floor and then to the ceiling. Try to make it continuous.
These exercises are an effective form of yoga prevalent for thousands of years. They’re excellent for circulation in and around the eye. They help the eyes look more energized and also to reduce the puffiness under the eyes along with dark circles.
Along with moving your eyes up and down, you can also try looking sideways for better results. After you finish this, open your eyes wide, relax and take a deep breath. Now, you can remove your hand on the forehead and resume your daily activities.
DIY or rather do it yourself recipes are very famous these days as it reduces the hassle to go to the store and buy some product. Also, we cannot know if the product will be suitable for your skin tone until and unless you use it yourselves. So, we cannot guess if the product is working.
But, a DIY recipe is safe as we know all the products we will be using in it. Thus, making it easy and safe to use as the ingredients required for a DIY are often items which are regularly available in your kitchen.
The first DIY recipe would be applying green tea bags. We need to collect the tea bags after boiling green tea and collect those tea bags. Now, place these used tea bags in the refrigerator for 15 – 20 minutes and let it cool completely. Later, just put the tea bags on your eyes and take a short nap. Try doing this every day, and it is, even more, better if you do it twice in a day.
For the second DIY recipe we would need freshly squeezed cucumber juices and two cotton pads. Cucumber juice helps to rejuvenate the skin, tightens the open pores, lighten dark circles and makes your eyes appear beautiful and bright. It also reduces eye-bags and swelling.
Now, take the cotton pads and dip them in the cucumber juice, gently tap them and apply them on your eyes. If cucumber juice is not available, green tea is also a good alternative. The process would also be the same, which is taking cotton pads, dipping them in green tea and applying them to your eyes. For coolness, you can keep it in the refrigerator for 15 minutes and then use them to your face.
The next DIY recipe is possibly the easiest amongst others. Just take a bowl of filtered water, take a napkin and immerse it in the water completely. Now, the bowl which is filled with water along with the towel in the fridge for 15 – 20 minutes. After taking the bowl of the refrigerator, squeeze the excess water and put the towel over your eyes for half an hour.
If you feel that the cloth is getting warm after 10 minutes, dip the towel again in the water. If the water comes to room temperature, repeat the above process.
So, we have understood from the above tips on how to get rid of puffy eyes. Though surgery might seem like a possible option to remove the puffy eyes, operations near the eye are dangerous, and if not correct it can even make a turnaround and make matters worse.
It is always better to try to reduce the problem naturally and then try to reduce it by looking for any other alternative whether it be a clinical based drug or some medicine.
Now let’s decode the most surprising fact that puffy eyes can also occur during your periods. The bloated feeling you get during your PMS? It is the same waterlogged effect which leaves your eyes swollen as well.
This phenomena usually is due to the fluctuation of hormones, mainly the hormones estrogen and progesterone which cause fluid retention throughout your body. “While it is not a trigger for puffy eyes in all women, it can contribute to swelling in some rate,” says Dr. McLaughlin.
So, better start changing your lifestyle in your teens or in your 20’s to have a healthy and beautiful face when you age. At this rate, you can age with grace and be beautiful in and out making your lifespan increase as days go by.
Start following these tips and get rid of your puffy eyes, quickly, and naturally.