What Causes Puffy Eyes & How To Get Rid Of It?

What Causes Puffy Eyes & How To Get Rid Of It?

We have all experienced some form of puffiness around the eyes at some point. Though puffy eyes have many different causes, including your heritage, skin type and allergies to name a few, there are some at home and professional remedies to help treat them temporarily. To treat them, in the long run, you must first address the underlying cause of the puffiness. This is something we are going to find out together as we investigate what causes puffy eyes and how you can get rid of them.  

What causes puffy eyes?

Puffy eyes are caused by a number of things, ordinarily, the swelling you notice around your eyes is the result of excessive amounts of fluids, called oedema, that surrounds the skin tissue. Due to the fact the skin around the eyes is very thin this swelling can appear more prominent. There are a number of factors that contribute to the swelling to such as:

  • Allergies, such as hay fever
  • Sinus problems
  • Overconsumption of salt
  • Dehydration
  • Stress
  • Crying
  • Lack of sleep
  • Fatigue
  • Ageing
  • Inherited facial features

These can be treated easily enough, some needing surgery and others a simple change in your lifestyle can treat the concern.

Regarding the inherited facial features, puffy eyes do seem to run in the family for some and this cannot really be treated unless you decide to explore your options with surgery. As for ageing, puffiness is caused by the skin around the eye area that keeps the lids lifted and fatty tissue in place begins to weaken meaning there is a shift in the skin and the appearance of the eyes changes with under-eye bags beginning to form.

Why do my eyes look puffier in the morning?

Believe it or not, the way you sleep will have a considerable effect on your eyes. If you sleep on your front you will find that the fluid will fall to the front of your face and settle in the under-eye area creating puffiness and dark circles. Laying on your back and using a silk pillowcase are some of the simplest things to change that can have a huge impact and help combat any puffiness.

Some of you may also find that due to the fact your eyes have been closed meant you haven’t blinked, which is the eye’s way of exercising by reducing the amount of fluids around the eye. You will find that any puffiness should go down as the day continues and the more regularly you blink once awake. 

Are puffy eyes a sign of underlying health issues?

Puffy eyes generally aren’t a sign of any underlying health issues, but if you are experiencing any of the following then do consult your doctor:

  • Pain, irritation and severe swelling around the eyes
  • Long-lasting puffy eyes that you hadn’t previously suffered with

These symptoms could be a sign of something serious such as:

  • Conjunctivitis (also known as pink eye)
  • Ptosis or drooping eyelids
  • Dermatitis
  • Cellulitis
  • Blepharitis
  • Thyroid eye disease


How you can get rid of puffy eyes?

Here are some ways of treating puffy eyes:

  1. Getting enough sleep

Getting the right amount of shut-eye will help reduce puffy eyes, having a good routine in the evening is important for your entire body and mind, not just your peepers. Here are some simple steps to take before you get ready to hit the hay.

  • Don’t drink any caffeine at least 6 hours before you got to bed
  • Stop exercising 5 hours before bed
  • Don’t eat heavy meals or sugary snacks 3 hours before bed
  • Avoid drinking alcohol before bedtime
  • Turn off any electronics and avoid looking at any blue screens 2 hours before bed.
  1. Drink enough water

Puffy eyes can be caused by dehydration, try keeping on top of your water intake every day and aim to drink eight glasses of water. Start the morning off with a large glass and before you go to sleep sip half a glass to keep yourself hydrated. 

  1. Eat more potassium

Potassium can help reduce excess fluids in the body you can find potassium in the following foods:

  • Bananas
  • Beans
  • Yoghurt
  • Leafy greens

You may also want to consult your doctor to see if you are consuming the correct levels of potassium as there are various supplements you can try, but only after speaking to your GP.

  1. Try an eye cream

There are a vast amount of eye creams available, many of which have potent formulas containing active ingredients that will relieve any puffiness, such as hyaluronic acid and cucumber. You will also find vitamin C and caffeine are added to help awaken the eye area, reduce any inflammation and help tighten and brighten the skin. Find out more with our blog post about how to find the best eye cream.

  1. Use a cold compress

Placing some chilled slices of cucumber on your eyes may feel relaxing, but they are actually working hard at reducing any puffiness to the eyes. You can also try placing a damp, cold cloth onto the eyes to help drain away any excess fluid as well as using a green tea bag. Green tea is packed with antioxidants that can reduce inflammation and protect the skin.

  1. Maintain a healthy diet

Reducing the amount of salt and alcohol you consume will work wonders for your under-eyes. Too much salt can cause fluid retention in the body making under-eye bags look puffier. Ensure you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, particularly superfoods such as spinach and blueberries. Avoid drinking too much alcohol as it causes dehydration of the skin, using an eye cream and drinking plenty of water will help keep the eye area hydrated and moisturised.

  1. Treat your allergies

If you find yourself to suffer yearly with seasonal allergies, such as hay fever you may want to look into trying medically formulated eye drops. Found over the counter, these drops will hydrate the eyes and calm any irritation caused by pollen and dust. 

  1. Talk to your doctor about surgery

There are many cosmetic procedures that can help with severe puffy eyes if you have found the other treatments to have not helped then consulting your doctor about surgery may be your next step. This decision shouldn’t be taken lightly and you must take the time to research the best doctor and clinic for your needs.


You may find that you suffer from puffy eyes in many different ways and throughout the year. Lack of sleep, poor diet and allergies can have an effect on your eyes and the easiest way to treat them is to keep your diet as balanced and healthy as possible, get enough beauty sleep and stay on top of any allergies you have. By doing this you will see a considerable improvement in the overall appearance of your eyes. If you are wanting to learn more about how to treat and prevent any under eye wrinkles, you can check out our blog post.


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