Causes of and Cures for Eyelid Puffiness

Eyelid puffiness can be unsightly and unattractive. Sometimes referred to as under eye bags, this usually temporary condition can have many causes. There are several home remedies known to help reduce the appearance of eyelid puffiness that are completely effective and medication free. Problems with vision or extreme pain due to puffiness around the eyes may however be a sign of a more serious condition.

The tissue that surrounds the eyes is referred to as orbital tissue. This form of tissue is thin and has a rich blood supply, which makes it susceptible to fluid retention or fat redistribution. As people age the fat inside and near the eyelids may redistribute itself to a location under the eye, creating unsightly bags. Fluid also accumulates in this sensitive area, leaving a swollen and puffy appearance. There are many different causes of swelling, puffiness or bags to form around the eyes. Dermatitis of the eyes or an irritation of the skin around the eyes may be one cause. Anything that can cause itching or rubbing of the skin around the eyes can contribute to this including: make-up, allergies or irritant chemicals.  Frequent changes in the body’s hormone levels may be another cause.

Many times pregnant women or women experiencing menopause will develop a fluid build-up around the eyes and often in other places of the body too. There are also many types of illnesses, such as edema, that will cause fluid retention that may be seen near the eyes. High levels of sodium in the human body will also lead to fluid retention. Even something as simple as fatigue can lead to retention of fluid. In fact, stress, fatigue and a lack of sleep are some of the more common causes of eyelid puffiness. Emotional stress and crying increases blood flow to the eyes and leaves them swollen and puffy. Another major cause of puffiness of the eyes is due to dehydration, a common occurrence due to a hangover.

Luckily, puffy eyes are usually a temporary problem. The best treatments are actually home remedies. Almost anything involving cool temperature applied directly to the eye area will help reduce fluid retention and swelling. This is why many people will use chilled cucumber slices, ice packs, cool wet towels and potato compresses. Iced tea bags will also work and tea contains a natural astringent as well. Since dehydration is a common cause of swollen eyelids, drinking water can also help. The swelling can also be reduced through the use of aloe and vitamin E eye creams or over the counter hemorrhoid creams. Hemorrhoid creams contain an anti-inflammatory but avoid exposing the eyes themselves to the cream. Other extremely effective cures involve rest and sleep, while elevating the head to reduce fluid build-up. If the cause of bags around the eyes is an allergic reaction, it will be necessary to treat the allergy first.

While eyelid puffiness is usually not serious, it is important to keep an eye out for changes in vision, tenderness, pain, difficulties with blinking or severe swelling in other parts of the body as these may be sign of more serious conditions like kidney or thyroid infections. Usually puffiness only lasts a few days or so, but some people as they age may experience bags under the eyes that can last for weeks. If this becomes a cosmetic issue, there are some surgical applications that can remove the swollen tissue. There are chemical peels and laser resurfacing techniques as well a procedure known as a blepharoplasty. This surgical procedure cuts away the fat and skin from around the eyes. Because all surgery has risks associated with it, it is better to use home remedies to cure eye puffiness unless there is a serious need for surgery.

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