A lot of people get puffy eyes during different phases of their lives. A teenager can wake up with puffy eyes after strenuous hours of studying overnight, an adult due to water retention, too much salt in the diet, improper sleep, consumption of excess liquor, certain medications or improper ventilation. Allergies, skin disorders like dermatitis are also common causes of puffy eyes. Other causes include Blepharitis, eyelid edema, swollen eyelid, glaucoma, conjunctivitis, corneal ulcers and sinusitis. Dust or other irritants could also cause flare-ups that swell the eyes. Stress can also cause problems with your eyes. Physical manifestations are common among individuals experiencing high levels of stress in their lives. Crying is a cause of puffy eye syndrome, too. You can also get bags from genetics or heredity as well. Age is no barrier, so don’t lose heart over this; there are cures and remedies. Whatever be the reason for puffiness, first identify the cause and then take remedial measures.
The skin around our eyes is thin, loosely attached and devoid of any sebaceous glands. Sometimes you notice when you get up in the morning that your eyes appear puffy but the puffiness diminishes during daytime. This happens because when you sleep, the distribution of body fluid is partly interrupted because you are lying horizontally and no longer have gravity working with you to drain blood from your head. Also your circulation may be impaired from a pillow or mattress. If you want an immediate remedy then prop a second pillow while you sleep to help the fluids accumulating in the eye tissues to flow downward.
However, there are other factors to consider for instance you may find your eyes seem to be puffy during pregnancy and hormonal changes to do with menstruation can also lead to the retention of fluid. These conditions can cause swelling around the eyes to be more prominent. Over indulging in alcohol and tobacco is seen to cause a build up of toxins in your body that result in fluid retention.
In many cases the natural aging process takes its toll resulting in bags under the eyes. With age the pockets of fat beneath and supporting the eyes start to bulge as muscle that holds them in place begins to weaken. Collagen the protein that helps make our skin appear firm and taut begins to break down with age and our skin starts to lose its firmness. These are factors that begin the overall aging process that we notice in the form of lines and wrinkles but they can also be a cause of what are known as baggy or puffy eyes. That loss of muscle support is going to accentuate bagginess as the pockets of fat known as orbital fat pads drop and begin to overhang slightly. To delay under eye sagging, you can take on a daily massage technique with a good eye cream or moisturizer to help your eyes appear younger and also to get rid of the bags under them. You will want to massage from under your eyes out to your temples for about five minutes daily. With tender and regular care of your eyes, like even massaging them with any pure vegetable oil once a week, you can present a great visual effect. (See Home remedies for crow's feet also.)
Also have your eyes examined, because uncorrected vision problems may cause you to strain, squint which can lead to fine lines and cavities around the eyes. As you exercise your body, you need to exercise your eye muscles because they too are always working for you and need to be toned up. Simply rolling your eyes is enough to strengthen the eyelid muscles. First open your eyes wide, roll them slowly in a large circle, first to the left, then to the right. Close your eyes for a moment to relax them, then begin to roll them again. You can do this a number of times, as long as you like. After this practise the relaxation technique. Focus on any object which is 30 cm away from where you are sitting. Shift suddenly to a faraway object. Focus again on the nearby object, then on the distant one. This kind of muscle stretching relaxes your eyes and eliminates puffiness by helping the fluids to drain out. (Read the posts: Eye yoga, Simhamudra (lion-pose) eye exercise, Keep your eyes in a good condition with these habits and Eye care for computer users also.)
Some of these lifestyle habits can go a long way in preventing puffy eyes.
- - Cut down on alcohol
- - Cut the salt out of your diet
- - Try and get enough sleep and sleep in a properly ventilated room.
- - Drink more water.
- - Stop eating junk foods.
- - Keep your stress level under control. Regular exercise and practice of Pranayamas may help.
- - Eat more natural foods, especially more of green vegetables and fruits. (See Foody tips as well.)
There are simple home-remedies which you can try to prevent puffing of eyes but if your puffiness is severe and persistent or you notice swelling (edema) in other parts of your body, you need to see your doctor says Mayo Clinic dermatologist Lawrence Gibson, especially to rule out other possible causes of swelling, such as kidney malfunctioning, thyroid problems, sinus or a side effect of medications. Many cosmetic creams can cause an allergy, so do a 48-hour patch test first. Dr. Gibson further mentions that though there is some anecdotal evidence that hemorrhoid cream applied under the eyes can reduce puffiness, no clinical trials have evaluated its effectiveness for this use and as ingredients in hemorrhoid cream may be irritating to the skin around the eyes, resulting in dryness and inflammation, you shouldn’t try these creams on your delicate under eye skin without a doctor’s prescription.
If you get up with puffy eyes, the first thing in the morning you should do is splash your eyes with cold water. It helps in keeping the under-eye skin firm and relaxed. For tired eyes compresses of iced water, milk or diluted eau-de-cologne kept on closed eyelids for 20 minutes can work wonders. You should lie back awhile to relax while the healing works. (See Honey as an eye nourisher, Tulsi for inflammation and itching of the eyelids also.)
Steep 2 bags of teas in hot water for 4-5 minutes. Caffeine is a natural diuretic, meaning that it pulls fluid out of your system. Caffeinated tea bags can be used to help alleviate the puffy eye syndrome; it helps by constricting blood vessels to reduce swelling. It’s great if your use herbal teas such as chamomile, hibiscus as well. Herbal teas contain important anti-irritants that soothe and reduce eye puffiness. Now lie down, close your eyes, and place a tea bag over each eye; then cover with a soft cloth. Relax for about five to ten minutes. Remove the tea bags and examine your eyes. The puffiness should diminish. If the result is not to your liking, re-cool the tea bags and apply to your eyes again.
Using cucumber slices is perhaps the best and oldest known remedy, often used by supermodels and pros as a sure-fire and super-quick way to reduce puffiness or diminish dark-circles. Cucumbers indeed make good cold compresses for the eyes. Take a chilled cucumber from the fridge and slice it into thin circles. Let the cool slices rest on your eyes for about five minutes. Re-apply new slices as needed.
The cucumber's contracting qualities cause your blood vessels to constrict, quickly and dramatically reducing puffy eyes.
Would you believe that the lowly spoon from your kitchen can reduce puffy eyes in minutes? Place 4 to 6 spoons in the fridge. Lie down, close those eyes with the bowl of a spoon over each eye for five minutes; put one tea spoon on each eye. As the spoons warm, replace them with cold ones from the refrigerator (or if more convenient, keep them wrapped in an ice-pack).
Try a depuffing eye mask such as Bindi Mint Eye Mask to relieve puffiness or undereye masks infused with gels and plant extracts like Chamomile, cucumber, mint, and aloe. Chill in the fridge overnight, and apply for ten minutes in the morning.
Always make sure that you remove eye makeup before going to bed, otherwise you may be prone to any serious eye-infection. Eye makeup can be removed gently with a home-made remover. Mix 2 tbsp coconut oil, 2 tsp almond oil and 1 tsp Castor oil. Use this mixture to remove the make-up like eye-liner, mascara and eye-shadow evenly. Splash cold water and dry. There are times when you have puffy eyes and these home remedies don’t seem to work for you. You need not worry. With certain makeup tips you can conceal them. Use a darker shade of foundation on the puffy spot, then highlight the circle below the eyes to create an overall illusion of flatness. Never use any light shade on the puffy area because you will be only accentuating it. Use plenty of mascara on your lashes only. A magic trick to tighten up saggy undereye tissue can be done like this: rub a very thin coat of egg white with a paint brush on the under-eye area. Allow to dry and apply make-up foundation very carefully over it. When you clean the undereye area, be sure to apply your regular moisturizer liberally to counter the drying effects of the egg white.
An eyelid reduction (blepharoplasty) removes the surplus skin and fat to produce a more alert appearance and reduces morning swelling; however, do not take this drastic step without weighing up the pros and cons.