We've all experienced getting a slight shock when you check your face in the mirror and find your eyes are looking swollen or puffier than usual. However, puffy eyes are extremely common and can be caused by a variety of different things - from environmental factors to underlying health problems...
Your eyes are extremely sensitive and so is the skin surrounding them, so it’s important to identify the cause of your puffy eyes so you can address the problem quickly and efficiently.
Here are 7 common causes of puffy eyes that you may not have considered…
1. Puffy eyes? Stop using a heater
Turning the central heating up in winter can make eyes dryer and more sensitive than usual, as heat causes dehydration of mucus membranes in the eyes, causing it to thicken and become more inflamed.
2. Puffy eyes? You may need more sleep
A bad night’s sleep can lead to puffiness around the eye area in the morning – especially if you’re stressed. Stress causes changes to the salt balance in the body and if salt balances are off, your eyes can retain water as a result and swell.
3. Puffy eyes? You may be allergic to something
Seasonal allergies can cause swelling of the eye area. When your body is faced with an allergy it releases histamine into your system which can sometimes lead to inflammation of the eye area.
4. Puffy eyes? It could be down to your menstrual cycle
Just like the rest of your body bloats and swells during certain times of the month, your eyes can actually do the same. They should go down after a few days, and if they don’t, it may be another cause.
5. Puffy eyes? Check your diet
Too much salt in your diet can cause your eyes to puff, as excess sodium levels can lead to bloating and fluid retention. If you think too much salt may be the cause of your swollen eyes, simply cut back on foods that contribute to fluid retention, such as pre-packed, frozen and canned foods as sodium is often added as a preservative to these foods.
6. Puffy eyes? Are you hungover?
Your eyes are extremely vulnerable to even small changes in your diet, so the dehydration caused by drinking too much alcohol can lead to puffiness around the eye area.
7. Puffy eyes? There could be a problem with your thyroid
Although it is probably more likely to be an environmental factor, puffy eyes can also be a symptom of an overactive thyroid, so if you are concerned always check with your GP.
Remedies to get rid of puffy eyes
Obviously once you have identified the cause of your puffy eyes it’s easier to adjust your lifestyle habits to tackle them. Or alternatively, you can seek medical advice if you think it may be an underlying symptom for something more serious. However, you can always try these natural remedies for reducing the appearance of puffy eyes…
Drink more water
When your body is dehydrated it desperately tries to retain water, causing your under eye area to swell. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day can also help flush toxins out helping to clear up your eye area.
Try chilled cucumbers and potatoes
The enzymes found in cucumbers help reduce inflammation and tighten the skin around the eyes, just cut into slices and apply for 15 minutes. Likewise the starch that is present in potatoes has anti-inflammatory properties, simply grate into shavings and put in a cloth then place the cloth over your eyes for several minutes.
Tea bags can help soothe irritated and puffy eyes as they contain anti-irritant properties that can help reduce swelling – as well as relieving redness and irritation. Simply put two used teabags in the fridge for half an hour and then put them on your eyelids for 15 minutes.
This home remedy will help tighten the skin around your eyes and relax the blood vessels which will relieve tired and puffy eyes. Simply chill 5 or 6 metal spoons in the fridge for approximately 15 minutes and then hold the rounded side against your eye for a few minutes until the spoon becomes warm.