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What is eye puffiness? What are its clinical treatments and home remedies?
What is eye puffiness? What are its clinical treatments and home remedies? Eye puffiness is a term used by people for swelling the area around the eye called the orbit of the eye. Thus, in medical literature, this is called periorbital puffiness.
Periorbital edema is a puffiness occurring due to fluid accumulation. It can occur in just one eye or both eyes. Whenever a person has periorbital edema, fluid accumulates around the eye due to the inflammation or any other reason. It is this fluid that gives the eye orbit a puffy appearance.
In this article, you’ll get to know more about eye puffiness, its clinical treatments, and home remedies?
What is eye puffiness?
Periorbital edema or eye puffiness is swelling of the tissue surrounding the eye orbit. This swelling can occur due to many reasons such as increasing age, fluid accumulation, inflammation, or allergy, etc. A minor puffiness around the eye is sometimes called as eye bags. Eye puffiness is usually a cosmetic concern and doesn’t indicate any serious underlying medical condition.
What causes eye puffiness?
As age increases, skin and muscles surrounding the eye become weak. The skin may start to sag, and then fat accumulates under that skin giving the appearance of eye puffiness. Also, the space under the eye may accumulate fluid. Having said this, let us look deep into the etiologies:
- Age: As previously stated, with the advancement of age, the fat tends to gather under the skin surrounding the eyes.
- Lack of sleep: Sleep deprivation causes puffiness around the eyes. You may have experienced it by yourself.
- Crying: Excessive crying causes tear dripping and transient inflammation around the eyes that can result in eye puffiness temporarily.
- Allergies: Several allergic reactions such as hay fever, reaction to foods, chemicals, or other substances cause the release of histamine-a substance that causes fluid retention under the skin.
- Conjunctivitis: It is also known as pink eye, which is a common inflammatory infection during cold or flu season. It occurs due to viruses, bacteria, or other chemicals, etc.
- Graves Disease: Graves disease is a thyroid problem in which the person suffers from increased thyroid hormone levels in the blood. It, being an autoimmune condition, also causes inflammation of tissues surrounding the eye.
- Mechanical trauma: Mechanical trauma to the eye by a basketball, a punch or any blunt object causes tissue tear under the eye, and so fluid accumulates there.1
Signs and Symptoms of eye puffiness
Eye puffiness occurring due to advanced age is not a pathological process. Only fat is under the skin, and so no symptoms or medical conditions are present. However, swellings occurring due to any pathological condition may show the following signs and symptoms:
- Pain in the eyes
- Blurry vision
- Seeing floaters and flashes
- Sensation of having something stuck in the eyes
Diagnosis of Puffy Eyes
The doctor would diagnose the cause of inflammation, causing eye puffiness. He’ll ask you questions related to medical history and may also perform a physical examination. Other such tests could also be performed:
- Blood tests
- Tissue biopsy
- Allergic tests
- Skin Biopsy
Clinical Treatments of Puffy Eyes
Treatments for puffy eyes or periorbital edema depends on the cause. Some of the prescribed clinical treatments are as follows:
- Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are drugs that reduce the inflammation, and thus they help in reducing eye puffiness.
- Antihistamines: Antihistamines alleviate allergic symptoms, thus reducing eye swelling.
- Antibiotics: These medications are used to treat infections caused by bacteria. When bacteria are killed, inflammation caused by them decreases
- Adrenaline or epinephrine: Adrenaline is an emergency medication used in a patient suffering from the anaphylactic shock which also reduces swelling in them.2
Home remedies for Eye Puffiness
Following are listed the home remedies that can be essential for you in soothing the under-eye swelling n most of the cases:
- Low salt intake: Having low salt in the diet causes loss of water from your body. This can possibly reduce the accumulated fluid within the swollen eyes.
- Cold compress: Application of a wet and cold cloth at the affected area provides a soothing effect as this treatment alleviates the pain.
- Eye creams and ointments: Certain creams and ointments can be bought from a drug store that can be applied over the swollen eye to reduce inflammation.3
- Depuff by aloe vera: Studies have shown that application of aloe vera extract at the bulged eye area can help with puffiness.4
The Bottom Line
Periorbital edema or eye puffiness is a very annoying and uncomfortable condition that can affect your ability to perform routine tasks. But there isn’t a need to worry about it. With proper medical care, treatment, and home remedies, your eye puffiness can completely go away. Follow the instructions of your doctor and keep going for a check-up routinely.
1. Puffy Eyes: What Causes Them and What To Do About It – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/puffy-eyes-what-causes-them-and-what-to-do-about-it/.
2. Puffy Eyes Causes and Treatments | Specsavers UK | Specsavers UK. https://www.specsavers.co.uk/eye-health/puffy-eye.
3. Vrcek, I., Ozgur, O. & Nakra, T. Infraorbital Dark Circles: A Review of the Pathogenesis, Evaluation and Treatment. J. Cutan. Aesthet. Surg. 9, 65–72 (2016).
4. Surjushe, A., Vasani, R. & Saple, D. Aloe vera: A short review. Indian Journal of Dermatology vol. 53 163–166 (2008).