Too little sleep, colds, inflammations and allergies can cause (temporary) swelling of the eyelids.Other triggers can be dry eyes due to working at the computer for long periods of time or wearing contact lenses. If the complaints occur repeatedly and are additionally accompanied by itching, burning, adhesions or pain, the ophthalmologist should clarify the causes: Depending on the reason, the eyes are then treated with eye drops, eye ointments, in the case of allergies by omitting the allergen and, if necessary, with antihistamines.
– Allergies, colds and acute lack of sleep can cause puffy eyes. – Often there is parallel itching, pain and "bags under the eyes". – If the problem occurs without an identifiable trigger, it is advisable to consult an ophthalmologist. – Usually it is enough to avoid the direct trigger in the future. – In some cases, eye ointments or eye drops are administered as a supportive measure.
Puffy eyes at a glance
Swelling of the eyelids
Itching, burning, sticking, pain, eyelid rim inflammation
cold, allergy, alcohol consumption, slack connective tie
Anamnesis, eye examination, if necessary laboratory tests
Avoidance of the trigger, eye drops, eye ointments
What are the causes of puffy eyes?
Puffy eyes are common. Most often the phenomenon occurs in the morning after sleeping. Often this is due to a congestion in the lymphatic flow caused by the almost horizontal posture during sleep. If puffy eyes occur only occasionally in the morning, it may be due to the following reasons:
Nutrition: Salty diet, abundant protein consumption and excessive alcohol consumption. Common cold: Inflammation of the sinuses. HormonesIn women, the hormone estrogen during ovulation or menstruation can be responsible for water retention – also around the eyes. AllergiesThe most frequent causes of swollen upper or lower eyelids are allergies. Often occur in both eyes at the same time, accompanied by typical signs such as watery, red, swollen, itchy and burning eyes. Symptoms may occur singly or in combination, mild or severe. Dry eyes: Computer work or low-moisture room air cause dry eye problems, which can be exacerbated in contact lens wearers. Medication side effects or hormonal factors can also alter the eyelid margins. Thus leading to a blockage of the secretion flow with subsequent swelling of the eyelids. Infections: A swollen eye can also be an indication of an isolated disease of the eye caused by a bacterial, viral or foreign body infection, such as conjunctivitis, a stye (hordeolum) or a hailstone (chalazion). Internal diseasesAlso rather rarely, swollen eyes hide internal diseases, such as those of the thyroid gland, heart or kidneys. In such cases, further examinations by the appropriate medical specialists are indicated. slackening of the connective tieOften "bags under the eyes" occur which – often hereditary – cannot be improved by a healthy lifestyle and expensive cosmetics and can already affect young people. They are caused by the natural fat deposits around the eyes becoming visible due to the slackening of the connective tie. CancerIn rare cases, a swollen eye can be an indication of a tumor in the eye area.
What are the symptoms of puffy eyes?
Puffy eyes can also occur together with the following complaints:
– itching – burning – adhesions – pain – weakening of the connective tie ("bags under the eyes") – inflammation of the eyelid margin
Diagnosis of puffy eyes
Puffy eyes due to understandable causes, such as after a long night out or after a night of sleep. occur during the night or as a result of crying, are no cause for alarm and usually disappear on their own.
In the case of acute inflammation, feelings of tension, discomfort in the form of itching, burning, or with a foreign body in the eye, the doctor should clarify the causes. This is also recommended if puffy eyes recur periodically without an identifiable trigger. Many problems with eyes and eyelids are related to dry eyes or infections. If necessary, further laboratory tests are performed to rule out other diseases.
How to treat puffy eyes?
The first therapeutic measure in case of allergies is usually to avoid the trigger. Sometimes it is for example cosmetics that are not tolerated, often an undiscovered dust mite allergy or animal hair allergy is behind it. Treatment is primarily with antihistamines or cortisone.
In the case of infections, conjunctivitis, styes and eyelid rim inflammation, for example, the specialist may prescribe preservative-free eye drops or ointments, depending on the indication.
The classic "bags under the eyes in most cases can be corrected only with surgery.
Puffy eyes: What can the affected person do additionally??
The following tips can help:
– Drink enough water – Renew eye cosmetics regularly – Get enough sleep – Apply moisturizing eye drops regularly to the eyelid margins, especially if you wear contact lenses or have dry eyes
If swellings occur only occasionally or for known reasons, there are several remedies for self-help. The lymphatic congestion that always occurs in the morning can be avoided by lying on a higher bed, for example with a head cushion. Compresses in the form of cucumber slices or gel goggles can help the "thick" eyelid Move the eye to reduce swelling. It is important to seek expert advice as to whether heat or cold is recommended in a specific case.
Chamomile tea is often recommended as a home remedy. However, caution is advised here, as allergy and dryness can also worsen as a result. Frequent airing or a humidifier helps against dry air in the bedroom.