puffy eyes

The swelling appearing in the tissues around the eyes is known as periorbital puffiness. The fluid buildup around the eyes are called periorbital edema. When a small amount of fluid accumulates below the eyes and is visible, it is often called eye bags. As people get older, the fat pad lying below the lower eyelids also look like eye bags.

It is the periorbital tissues that swell and depending upon the degree of swelling, puffiness is visible. It is seen that such tissues swell immediately after waking up. This is due to the gravitational redistribution of the fluids around the eyes due to the horizontal position while at sleep.

Causes of swollen or puffy eyes

The causes of such swelling, occurrence of eye bags and puffiness of the eyes are many. They are:

  1. Initial stages of infection in the eyes.
  2. Dehydration and sinus problems.
  3. Sleeplessness or irregular and frequent break in sleeping cycles.
  4. Retention of fluid in the subcutaneous tissues, particularly during pregnancy and menstruation.
  5. Retention of fluid around the eyes and consequent swelling due to consumption of alcohol and tobacco products. These products induce changes in hormone system and give rise to stress and fatigue.
  6. Inflammation and infection in the skin around the eyes.
  7. Excessive intake of sodium (salt) through food.
  8. Allergies and aging.
  9. Crying and malfunctioning of tear glands.

Puffy eyes are not normally considered a serious ailment unless it persists for a longer duration. Prolonged puffiness in the eyes is an indication of existence of some other serious medical condition.

Remedies to reduce puffy eyes

The problem of puffy eyes can be taken care of by adopting simple home remedies.

Cold water

For immediate relief from puffiness in the eyes splash cold water repeatedly on the face as many times in a day as possible. Both the puffiness and the irritation will get reduced due to cold water treatment.

Drinking water

woman water drinking

One of the easiest ways to get rid of puffy eyes is to drink plenty of water. By drinking enough water, the body remains well hydrated. Due to less retention of water there is little chance for swelling under the eyes. In addition to this, water excretes the toxins from the body through urine.

Salt pad

Consumption of high salt-content food causes puffiness in the eyes.  But the same salt can be used to treat puffiness.


  1. Add half a teaspoon of salt to some cold water.
  2. Dip cotton pads in it.
  3. Then place the salt water dipped cotton pads on the puffy eyes.
  4. Keep it on for about 15 minutes the puffiness.

Tea bags

By placing refrigerated bags containing green tea or black tea on closed eyes and keeping it for about 15 minutes swollen or puffy eyes become normal. You can repeat the treatment two or three times a day.


Cucumber contains astringent properties and enzymes helpful to the eyes.  The inflammation in the eyes are reduced by them.

The method of treatment is:

  • Cut cucumber into thin slices.
  • Place one slice each on the eyes closed.
  • Keep it for about ten minutes or till such time the cucumber slices become warm.

Repeat the exercise for a few times every day.

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Potato is also used like cucumber but not in slices.

The method of treatment is:

  • Cut a small potato into two pieces.
  • Refrigerate the potato pieces for about 10 minutes.
  • Place one slice each on both the eyes closed.
  • Allow it to remain for 15 minutes.


Dip cotton pads in chilled milk and place the pads on the closed eyes. Hold it for about half an hour. This treatment will cool the eyes and reduce puffiness to a large extent.


Vitamin E oil


  1. Mix ten drops of vitamin E oil with a cup of cold water.
  2. Dip cotton pads in this mix.
  3. Place the pads on eyelids with eyes closed for about 20 minutes.

The puffiness reduces significantly by this method.

Flaxcapsules (2)

Egg white

Egg white treatment for puffy eyes is very effective.


  1. Beat one or two egg whites stiffly.
  2. Apply the egg white around the eyes with a soft brush.
  3. Allow it dry for 20 minutes.
  4. The swelling around the eyes become tighter and gradually the puffiness comes down.
  5. Then wash your eyes with cool water.

Chilled spoons

Chill stainless steel spoons with ice cold water. Place the cup portion of the spoon on closed eyes and keep it till the spoon becomes warm. Use alternate chilled spoons continuously for about 15 minutes. This treatment will also provide instant relief from puffiness in the eyes.

Other tips

  • Keep the living room dirt free.
  • Avoid rubbing the irritated eyes particularly after sleep.
  • Use a raised pillow during sleep.
  • Take brief rests while working on a computer.
  • Use color free detergents and soaps.

Ramya Srinivasan, PDGBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. As a result of her passion in native medicine, she got her Diploma in Traditional Siddha Medicine from Bharat Sevak Samaj registered under the Indian Planning Commission. She is certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.