Under-eye swelling — sometimes called “bags under the eyes” — is rarely a serious health threat. Still, it can be seriously irritating when you want to look your best. Puffy, swollen areas under the eyes are not only unattractive, but they can be uncomfortable as well. Luckily, under-eye swelling will usually go down with treatment.
“Bags under the eyes” is a phrase often used to describe under-eye swelling. That’s because it looks as if you have tiny bags filled with water under your eyes. Sometimes, the area is also red. Dark circles around the eyes may accompany the swelling. The lower lids may also appear red and puffy, making it look as if you did not get a good night’s sleep.
Under-eye swelling is usually due to fluid accumulation in the area under the eye. As you age, fat — the fat that usually helps support your eyes — moves to that area, also. This is because the muscles and tissues around your eyes weaken with age, allowing that fat to slide under your eyes. Allergies and other eye irritants, such as a crying jag, can also cause the area under your eyes to swell.
A diet high in salt can also contribute to under-eye swelling. Fluid retention also occurs when you drink a great deal of alcohol. Try not to drink much water right before you go to bed, either. Cutting back on these things can reduce the amount of swelling under your eyes. In addition, try to get a good night’s sleep. A lack of sleep can also contribute to the development of bags under your eyes.
Soothe the Swelling
Soothe away the swelling by putting a cold compress on your eyes. Damp, cool tea bags work well. Fresh slices of cucumber will also help. Or, place a spoon in the refrigerator and then gently press it against the area under your eyes. You might want to invest in an eye mask. Many are filled with a soft gel. Place the gel-filled eye mask in the refrigerator and slip it over your eyes for a few minutes.
If the swelling is severe, persistent, or accompanied by itching and redness, you should see a doctor. You could be developing an allergy. It is especially important to see a doctor right away if you are also experiencing swelling and fluid retention in other parts of your body, such as your legs.