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Puffy Eyelids - Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Remedies

Updated on December 31, 2013

What does Puffy eyelids mean?

How uncomfortable it is to see oneself in the mirror with puffy eyelids. It can be a nuisance especially to women, who are commonly conscious in their physical appearance. Sometimes we do not care too much about it, for it presents itself as harmless. But the thing is puffy eyelids may be a symptom from other eye conditions. This state implies inflammation in the area. This can either be localized or systemic, depending on the cause of the condition.


Usually puffy eyelids are accompanied by other manifestations, indicating a worsening of the condition.

Swelling on the surroundings of the eyes is observed too. Baggy eyes or excessive skin under the eyes appear with puffy eyelids. Dark surrounding circles are expected because of the sagging skin around the eyes. Redness and itchiness of the eyes are commonly complained by patients. Difficulty in closing the eyes or inability to close them can be distressing too and actually experienced by the affected person.

Sometimes, when the condition is at its worse, the swelling is accompanied by bleeding, discharges, dry eyes, eye pain, increased sensitivity to light, and vision problems. One should be alarmed when the puffy eyelids come to point of high-grade fever, severe headache, high blood pressure and facial pain.

Seek immediately the doctor’s help, maybe an underlying condition may have contributed to the worsening manifestations presented above.


The cause of puffy eyes are due to these facts:

Diet – excessive sodium in the diet can precipitate for fluid retention leading to puffy eyelids.

Pregnancy - hormone levels as this point is fluctuating. Hormonal changes can alter ones fluid regulation.

Dermatitis – a skin disorder that can result to puffy eyes in response to the inflammation. The swelling of the eyes can also be due to the very sensitive skin.

Edema – fluid retention can be the root cause for puffiness of the eyelids. It may be from underlying conditions such as kidney or liver diseases.

Hypothyroidism – periorbital edema is a common symptom of this disease.

Nephrotic syndrome – there is protein leakage from the body through the kidneys, which are essential for holding on to body’s water. Lack of protein can cause fluid retention thus presenting puffy eyelids.

Medication – some medications can provide side effects such as puffiness of the eyelids or edema.

Allergies – the eyes may have an acute reaction from the source of allergen. Redness of the eyes and puffiness around it may be manifested.

Age – as one age, the possibility of puffy eyelids is prominent for the skin’s thin characteristic has developed.

Crying – a very common cause of puffy eyelids. The salt being released from the eyes as we cry is the main cause for fluid retention around it.


Prevention is indeed better than cure. Good prevention techniques should be followed such as these:

Have a low-sodium diet – this prevents water retention.

Eat foods rich in vitamins A, C, E – maintains eye nourishment and reduces eye puffiness and maintains clear and moist skin.

Avoid eating too much processed foods – this contains high levels of sodium that can precipitate water retention.

Eat foods rich in protein – we have red meat as a common choice for protein. Sufficient protein in the body can avoid fluid retention.

In treating the eyelid puffiness, we need to identify first the associated conditions. By this course of action, we can directly treat the condition.

Having a healthful diet is a must especially if you are prone to eyelid puffiness. Make sure you have sufficient nutritious foods in your meal every day. Minimize salt and increase protein and potassium in the diet. Having extra essential fatty acids can prevent us from having puffy eyelids. Fatty acids can generally reduce the inflammation throughout the body.

Underlying conditions such as nephrotic syndrome, dermatitis, and hypothyroidism should be treated accordingly. Following the strict regimen in medication is a must so to avoid progression of the conditions.

When you have an allergic reaction, take an antihistamine to relieve the symptoms.
Pregnant women should also follow strict adherence of a healthy diet for the sake of oneself and the baby.

Edema can be easily treated with diuretics. While taking this, balanced water intake should be followed.

When the puffy eyelids are prominent and straining, the person affected should protect oneself. Use eye protection as possible and avoid scratching the eyes.


Home remedies are quite a help in assisting the client to full recovery. We have ways in order to reduce eyelid puffiness.

Apply cold cloth or damp cloth on the eyes. The coolness would reduce the swelling. The use of cool used teabags has the same shrinking effect. The use of metallic tablespoons, refrigerated, is fairly effective too. It is a less untidy procedure for you are only to cool them in the fridge and then place the back part of the spoon against the eyes.

Simply rinsing your face in cool water can reduce the puffiness. Getting enough good quality of sleep is a common intervention. Head elevation when the instances are severe, this can facilitate gravitational pull of the fluid that may have caused the puffiness of your eyelids.

Reduction of salt in the diet can prevent fluid retention, a factor for eyelid puffiness. Eat foods rich in potassium such as bananas and raisin. Diuretic-like foods such as cranberry juice, coconut juice and cabbage should be consumed.

Physical activity is a must. This intervention can facilitate proper fluid absorption and regulation in the body.


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    • Rebecca Furtado profile image

      Rebecca Furtado 4 years ago from Anderson, Indiana

      This is a very useful article. I always thought lack of sleep was the culprit of puffy eyes.