Causes of puffy eyes

Written by cindi pearce
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Causes of puffy eyes

Puffy eyes can be caused by fluid retention, which may occur due to a change in hormonal levels. If you're a woman about to have your menstrual period or are pregnant, you may experience puffy eyes. Puffy eyes can be solely a hereditary condition. If one of your parents has puffy eyes, you may have them too, according to Dr. Lawrence E. Gibson, Mayoclinic dermatologist (see Resources).

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Age and Genetics

Even though some people are genetically predisposed to puffy eyes--which may appear early in life--other people develop them as they age. This happens because the muscles under our upper and lower lids become less elastic with age. When the skin becomes slack due to age, the fat under our eyes becomes visible and may even protrude.

Lymph Flow

According to (see Resources), inadequate lymph flow can cause puffy eyes and create bags underneath them. You can counteract this by sleeping with your head elevated and by exercising.


Not drinking enough water or being dehydrated due to a hangover can cause puffy eyes, according to Get yourself rehydrated and drink a lot of water.

Weather and Allergies

Changes in the weather can contribute to under-eye puffiness, as can allergies. If you're an allergy sufferer and are constantly itching and rubbing your eyes, this can cause swelling and bags under your eyes.


If you're eating too much salt, this can cause water retention, which can lead not only to eye puffiness, but also to swelling in your hands and feet.

Underlying Problems

If the puffiness under your eyes is extreme and persists no matter what you do, talk to your physician. It could be an indication of kidney or thyroid problems. It might be oedema (swelling) if you notice it in other parts of your body as well. It's also possible that the medicine you're taking may be causing the puffiness.

Cold Compresses

To temporarily remove eye puffiness, try this technique: Hold a cold compress under your eyes. This constricts the blood vessels and prevents fluid from flowing into the tissue under your eyes, which reduces puffiness, according to (see Resources).

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