Symptoms of Puffy or Swollen Eyes:
* Puffiness or swelling of the upper and lower eyelids, usually in the morning.
* Occasionally accompanied by itching and/or redness.
* Not able to open or close the eyes.
1. Common Causes of Puffy Eyes:
* Dehydration. When the body gets dehydrated it begins storing up water, which can cause puffy eyes.
* Diet. Drinking alcohol or eating salty foods before going to sleep. Alcohol can cause puffy eyes because it lowers anti-diuretic hormones (ADH) in the body, but the levels will normalize and the puffiness will usually subside at about the same time your hangover subsides.
* Insufficient sleep.
* Allergies. If your puffy eyes are accompanied by redness and itching, the cause may be associated with an allergy. Possible contributing factors include feather pillows, linen fabric, face-creams, dust, pollen, or food.
* Aging. As you get older the skin begins to loose elasticity, causing swollen eyes.
* Hormonal changes. The days just before and during menstruation cause hormone levels to fluctuate, this can result in water retention around the eyelids.
* High blood pressure, which pushes fluids into the tissue around the eyes, can result in swelling.
* Eyelid dermatitis, a rash on the skin which just affects the eyelids, that is usually caused by an allergic reaction to make-up or skin-care products.
* Possible diseases.
o Blepharitis, or inflammation of the eyelid
o Orbital cellulitis, an infection of the orbital tissue
o Chalazions, small tumors on the eyelid that are benign
o Kidney infections
o Thyroid problems
* Drugs. Drugs such as lithium that cause the thyroid to become less productive can also result in swollen eyes.
2. Preventing Puffy Eyes:
* Stay hydrated!!! If you are thirsty, you are dehydrated. When properly hydrated, your urine will be nearly clear. (Note that some drugs and foods can alter the color of your urine.)
* Lower your salt intake. The body can only store salt in fluid suspension – which will gather in the skin around your eyes. (Bonus: Lowering your salt consumption can improve your overall health.)
* Never sleep wearing eye make-up. Regardless of how tired you may be, always use an eye make-up remover and continue until the cotton ball or pad shows no signs of make-up. Use a cotton pad rather than a tissue because it is less irritating. Removing eye make-up will prevent it from entering the eyelid and causing irritation.
* Tainted eye makeup can cause puffy eyesBeware of bacteria. Speaking of eye make-up…Do not use mascara or any other eye product that is older than a few months. Bacteria that have grown in the make-up would love a new home in your eyes, and will cause your eyelids to swell. On this note it is probably a good idea not to share your eye products with anyone else either.
* Be sure you get enough quality, regular sleep.
* Sleep with your head elevated to allow better circulation and prevent fluid from collecting around your eyes.
* Sleep on your back so that gravity does not route fluid directly to your eyes.
3. How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes:
There are many methods for preventing and eliminating swelling of the eyes. Some however, will require time and patience before you see results. Following are some natural remedies for puffy eyes.
Getting Rid of Puffy Eyes:
* Wear a mask that is filled with cold water or gel for a few minutes when you wake up in the morning.
* Wrap pieces of ice in paper towels and place them on your eyelids for a few minutes. The cold will reduce the swelling.
* Keep your eye creams in the refrigerator. The cool cream will help reduce your puffy eyes. When applying the cream, gently tap it onto your eyelid with your ring finger, so as to stimulate fluid drainage.
* Keep two teaspoons in the refrigerator and when you have an attack of the swollen eyelids; rest them on your eyelids for a minimum of one minute or until they warm up.
* Soak cotton-wool pads in a bowl of ice-cold milk and then squeeze most of the liquid out. Place the pads on your eyes and repeat as they warm up for about 15 minutes. This will also brighten the white in your eye.
* Dip cotton balls in ice water, and then squeeze the water out. Apply the cotton balls to your eyes for 5-10 minutes.
* Place black or chamomile teabags soaked in cold water on your eyelids for 15 minutes. The tannic acid in tea will constrict the blood vessels and reduce inflammation. To accelerate drainage, gently press from the inside corner to the outside corner of the swollen eye.
* Place slices of cucumber, potatoes, or apple over the puffy eyelids for 10-15 minutes. Potatoes will reduce dark circles under the eyes and apples have pectin which aids in anti-oxidation.
* Give your eyes a salt bath by soaking cotton pads in a saline solution or a solution of one teaspoon of salt in one pint of hot water. Place the pads on your puffy eyelids for a few minutes.
* Taking over the counter diuretics can help reduce fluid retention, especially if you experience bloating before your period. (Note: Diuretics also lower your blood pressure, so be sure to have yours checked before going this route.)
* Apply a hemorrhoid cream to the puffy area around the puffy eye, being EXTREMELY CAREFUL not to get any in your eye. Be sure to look for a cream that contains yeast and shark’s liver oil.
*Allergy related puffiness can become a permanent condition if not treated and eliminated. When the connective tissues in the eye become damaged from repeated swelling, the skin stretches and becomes looser. This can result in pouches under your eye, called blepharitis, because the fat around the eye has bulged. These pouches do not respond to home remedies like normal, occasional puffiness does. There is a minor surgery that can be performed called “blepharoplasty,” where the surgeon makes a very small incision under the lower eyelid to remove the excess skin, eliminating the pouches.
The Great Eye Gel Debate:
Many people question whether over the counter eye gels work. Some of these gels contain ingredients such as chamomile or witch hazel which have been known to reduce puffiness. The gels can be beneficial when worn under make-up because they act as a primer, making it easier for the make-up to glide on. The make-up will not flake off as easy and therefore will not irritate your eyes. These eye gels are water-based rather than oil-based which means that they will moisten the skin and hide lines, rather than make it greasy. If you keep your gel in the refrigerator the temperature alone will help soothe and refresh your eyes.