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Why Are My Eyes Puffy? Causes & Treatment Options

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You have just woken up from a relaxing sleep. You go to brush your teeth, but suddenly are shocked by how puffy your eyes appear! Why do you sometimes have eye bags after a good night’s rest? For some, puffy eyes after sleeping are common, for others, swelling around the eyelids occurs all day or randomly. Read on to learn more about causes for puffy eyes and what you can do!

Puffy eyes are probably something we have all experienced at one point in time in our lives. Whether it be due to an allergic reaction or an eye infection. Dr. Sharma commonly gets asked: “Why are my eyes puffy when I wake up?” Well, when we are sleeping we are not blinking and for some, this lack of movement causes swelling around their eyelids. It generally dissipates as you blink if there is no other underlying cause(s). All About Vision explains why swelling in the eyes is more prominent than other parts of our bodies:

“Ordinary swelling around the eyes means you have an excessive accumulation of fluids, called edema, in surrounding skin tissue. Because the skin around the eyes is the thinnest skin in the body, swelling and discoloration can be quite prominent.”


Causes Of Puffy Eyes

For some puffy eyes may be inherited from their mom or dad. But, if you have not inherited these facial traits then it’s important to understand what the underlying cause could be. Some underlying factors that could be contributing to your puffy eyes could be one or more of the following:

  1. Aging
  2. Allergies
  3. Stress
  4. Underlying disease or condition (ie thyroid condition)
  5. Fluid retention
  6. Crying
  7. Infection
  8. Dehydration


What Can You Do About Your Puffy Eyes?

Understand The Underlying Cause

It is important to ensure any and all underlying causes are explored. Because puffy eyes could be a symptom of a greater problem. For example, an untreated overactive thyroid or hyperthyroidism could result in an excess fluid build up around the eyelids. Your eye doctor will assess your eyes and determine if further testing is required beyond just an eye exam to confirm if a disease or condition is the root cause of your puffy eyes. Should you need to see a specialist, your optometrist will refer you to an appropriate one.


Take Simple Steps

Other underlying issues like allergies, should be explored with your eye doctor to help identify the specific cause of your allergies. Additionally, simple steps like drinking more water and getting enough sleep can help decrease swelling. If your eyes are retaining too much fluid due to over-consumption of salt, reduce your salt intake.


Cosmetic Options

In those patients who are noticing puffiness as they age, there are cosmetic options that can be explored with your optometrist. One such cosmetic procedure is blepharoplasty, which is a surgical treatment that removes excess skin and fat. In doing so the eye bags that may have formed due to aging are improved. It is important to speak to your eye doctor prior to undergoing any type of eye-related surgery, because he may be able to suggest other more appropriate options like prescription medication.

Understanding the root cause of why your eyes are puffy is the first step in alleviating this eye condition. Only then can a successful treatment plan be mapped out to help alleviate the swelling.


Do you have questions about your eyes? Book an appointment with Dr. Sharma by giving our office a call or easily booking online on our website. 

We are Victoria B.C.’s trusted family eye care practice!