Home Remedies for Puffy Eyes

by Sharon Hopkins

Puffy eyes or periorbital edema (swelling) is the swelling of the tissue around the eyes. Although commonly this is only seen in the tissue under the eyes, it can also affect the tissue of the eyelids. The general term for this is puffiness. The word 'edema' is used only when the swelling become very large and noticeable. In this article, we will discuss what exactly puffiness of the eye is and what can be done to reduce eye puffiness.

Swollen Eyes: Having swollen eyes or 'bags' under the eyes is common, but not all bags can be termed as puffiness. Many people genetically have slight fat pads under their eyes, which can be referred to as bags. Although this may look bad, there is nothing that can be done about it since it is not puffiness of the eyes.

Under eye bags or puffiness is the collection of fluid in the tissue around the eyes. There can be a number of reasons for this, and we will discuss them later on in this article. However, the eyes are said to be swollen only if it is not the natural way that the eyes looks.


Many people feel that sleeplessness or tiredness causes puffy eyes. There is, however, no scientific evidence to substantiate this belief. Both tiredness as well as sleeplessness result in dry eyes prompting the person to rub them, which, in turn, breaks blood vessels in the tissues around the eyes, causing dark circles. This, however, does not cause any puffiness.

Some of the common causes of puffy eyes are listed below.

  • Hormonal Variations: The body accumulates fluid during times of pregnancy, menopause, mensuration, etc., which may result in puffy eyes
  • Allergies: Bags or under eye swelling can be caused by allergies that lead to breaks in the subcutaneous capillaries, resulting in puffy eyes.
  • Crying: Excessive crying will cause fluid retention in the eye because of the salt in the tears. It is for the same reason that excessive salt intake can also lead to puffy eyes.
  • Obstruction in the Tear Glands: An obstruction in the tear glands can result in fluid being retained in the tissue around the eyes, leading to puffiness.
  • Mononucleosis: An infection of mononucleosis can lead to the eyes becoming puffy and swollen.
  • Alcohol Consumption: Alcohol consumption causes stress, fatigue, and hormonal changes, which are all factors that lead to swelling of the eyes.

Natural Remedies

Because puffy eyes are caused due to fluid being retained in the tissues around the eyes, anything that expels this fluid or causes it to drain out will relieve the symptoms. Some of the easiest and best ways to treat puffy eyes are given below.

  • Lifestyle Changes: If the puffiness of the eye is due to alcohol consumption or smoking, stopping these habits will relieve the symptoms. If you are accustomed to excessive salt in your diet or eat a lot of processed food that are high in sodium, switching to eating fresh food will relieve the symptoms.
  • Eye Massage: Gently massaging the swollen tissue in a circular motion using the ring finger (starting from the sinus tissue in the cheek) will cause the accumulated fluid to drain out through the tear ducts. The process must be repeated for a few minutes until all the puffiness has subsided.
  • Cold Eye Mask: A cold eye mask placed over the eyes for 10 to 15 minutes will provide relief from a lot of the symptoms. The cold will shrink the swollen tissue and also cause it to drain back into the skin under the eyes, reducing the swelling. This must, however, be done for 15 to 20 minutes repeatedly to have any effect. Drink cold beverages rather than hot ones because they too will help constrict the vessels and to drain the fluid from the swollen tissue. Although hot beverages may not worsen the condition, they do nothing to help alleviate it either.
  • Reduce Eye Makeup: Sometimes the fluid retention may have been triggered by the use of a product to which you may be allergic to. Suspending the use of all chemical products will have the advantage of removing one possible cause.
  • Avoid Medication: There are a number of products, some natural, some not, that supposedly help to reduce puffy eyes. Most of these products are not tested and invariably do not work. A double danger is that since you will be applying them on the skin around your eyes, which is already very tender and swollen, you may inadvertently worsen the problem.
  • Diet and Exercise: Age causes fluid buildup in the body. This is a natural process and there is nothing that you can do about it. If this is the reason for the puffiness of your eyes, concentrating on exercise and diet to keep yourself fit is a better option than going in for expensive products.
  • Most cases of puffiness around the eyes is not serious. Many times a good night's sleep and sweating it out for half an hour a day is more than sufficient to ensure that you do not have puffy eyes.



Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.
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