Causes of Puffy Eyelids and Treatments

Puffy eyelids aren't only an aesthetic problem one of the causes could be a disease.
Causes of Puffy Eyelids and Treatments

Last update: 25 March, 2021

Surely you’ve had puffy eyelids at some point in your life and wondered about the causes. It’s quite common, but rather than being a simple aesthetic matter, it could be a consequence of many illnesses. In fact, some of them could be of metabolic or immune origin.

The eyelids are a part of the body formed by skin, muscle, and mucous membrane that cover the eyes. Their main function is to protect them from any foreign agents. It also keeps the eyeball moist at all times.

It’s true that the eyelids tend to lose their consistency with aging. It’s for this reason that it’s typical for older people to have puffy eyelids or bags under the eyes. The same happens when fatigue and stress accumulate.

However, there are many other causes for swollen eyelids and it’s important to recognize them early on. In this article, we’ll explain the main reasons for these, and also the most common treatments.

Causes of puffy eyelids

As we mentioned above, having swollen eyelids is a common occurrence. Mainly because all tissues weaken with age, including those of the eyes.

Another common reason is tiredness and lack of sleep. Improper rest has an impact on the entire body and reflects in the face, especially the eyes. The same goes for habits such as drinking alcohol or smoking marijuana.

Puffy eyelids are also the result of excess fluid retention. This could be due to a circulatory problem such as hypertension or high sodium intake.

This problem is also typical of people with allergies and can happen during any allergic reaction. In fact, it’s a symptom of anaphylactic shock, among others.

Also, note that swollen eyelids can be a symptom of an infection. Logically, they also appear after a blow to the area, either from a fight or some other trauma.

Finally, styes are another frequent cause. These are an infection of the Meibomian glands located on the edge of the eyelid and there’s usually also pain and redness.

A woman pointing at the cause of puffy eyelids.
Both the upper and lower eyelids are prone to swelling.

Treatment for puffy eyelids

The treatment depends on the causes. It’s true that certain general measures can help prevent or improve most cases.

First of all, it’s important to get a good night’s sleep. Scientists recommend a minimum of eight hours a day. In addition, learn to manage stress and anxiety, as these also influence the quality of sleep.

The idea here is to maintain a healthy lifestyle and a well-balanced diet. Controlling your salt intake helps relieve fluid retention and improve circulation. It’s also necessary to minimize alcohol and drug intake.

Consult a doctor if the eyelids are still swollen in spite of these measures. Those that are due to allergic symptoms will most likely disappear after taking an antihistamine or just by distancing yourself from the allergen.

A professional will prescribe antibiotics to treat infections. There are many for oral administration but the most common for this purpose are either in topical form or as eye drops.

A woman wiping her face.
The medical professional will decide if the swollen eyelids are due to an allergy or an infection and will prescribe treatment.

In conclusion

The causes of puffy eyelids are many and it’s a fairly common problem. It isn’t only a natural aesthetic change due to aging but could also be a sign of fatigue and stress.

It’s best to consult your doctor if it becomes chronic as it could be a symptom of an infection or an undiagnosed allergy. They should be able to prescribe the most appropriate treatment.

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