Why Do I Have Red Rings Around My Eyes?

Conditions that cause red rings around the eye can affect people of all ages, and include:

Aging

It could be that the red rings around your eyes are related to getting older. Your skin changes as you age. This can result in an altered appearance. For example, it becomes thinner, which could result in discoloration.

You can also bruise more easily because the walls of your blood vessels thin over time.

Blepharitis

One cause of red rings around your eyes may be blepharitis. This condition causes inflammation on your eyelids that results in redness. Other symptoms include:

  • itchiness
  • swelling
  • flaking skin
  • watering eyes
  • crusting
  • irritation
  • light sensitivity
  • blurred vision
  • loss of eyelashes

There are a few types of blepharitis as well as several underlying causes of the condition. You can get blepharitis in the base of your eyelashes or in the openings of the meibomian glands.

Learn more about blepharitis.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a condition that develops around your eyes, making them red. This condition occurs when you come into contact with an outside element that triggers an allergic reaction or irritation. The area in and around your eyes can be particularly vulnerable to contact dermatitis because the skin is thin and it comes into contact with many different substances.

All areas surrounding your eye can be susceptible to contact dermatitis. Some of the symptoms of contact dermatitis around the eyes are:

  • redness
  • itchiness
  • stinging
  • burning
  • thickened or scaly skin

Contact dermatitis can affect one or both eyes.

The red rings associated with contact dermatitis may be caused by:

  • bathing and showering products
  • lotions and other moisturizers
  • sunscreen
  • eye drops
  • contact solution
  • dust
  • chlorine and other chemicals
  • makeup
  • hot or cold temperatures
  • humidity or lack of humidity

Keep in mind all products you contact when determining the cause of contact dermatitis near your eye. Your eyes can come into contact with irritants even if you don’t apply them near your eye. This is because your hands may have the substance on them when you rub your eyes.

Learn more about contact dermatitis.

Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is another skin condition that can cause redness around the eyes. This condition is also called eczema.

It’s a lifelong condition and most commonly develops in children. Adults can develop it as well, though at much smaller rates. About 15 percent of those with atopic dermatitis experience symptoms of the condition on their eyelids.

The symptoms of atopic dermatitis affect the skin and include:

  • redness
  • rash
  • thickness
  • irritation
  • scaly patches
  • bumps
  • itchiness

Genetics, environmental factors, and your immune system are all reasons why you may develop atopic dermatitis.

Learn more about atopic dermatitis.

Cellulitis

Preseptal and orbital cellulitis can cause redness and swelling around the eyelid. This is an infection of the skin in or around your eye. The infection may only affect your skin or it can infiltrate deeper into your body in your tissues and bloodstream.

It is likely that cellulitis will affect only one eye. Some symptoms of cellulitis are:

  • redness
  • pain
  • tenderness
  • swelling
  • bulging of the eye
  • limitation of eye movement
  • vision difficulty
  • fever

You may develop cellulitis around your eye because of:

  • an upper respiratory tract infection like sinusitis
  • trauma or injury
  • an insect bite
  • eczema and other skin conditions
  • impetigo
  • surgery

Cellulitis is not generally contagious, but it’s very serious and requires an immediate visit to the doctor.

Learn more about cellulitis.

Meibomian cyst

You may have a meibomian cyst that is causing redness around the eyes. This is a benign small-sized cyst caused by blocked glands in your eyelid. The cyst alone will not cause pain and irritation, but they can become infected, leading to worsening symptoms and redness around the eye.

Learn more about meibomian cysts.

6 Possible Redness Around The Eye Causes

The list below shows results from the use of our quiz by Buoy users who experienced redness around the eye. This list does not constitute medical advice and may not accurately represent what you have.

Eczema (atopic dermatitis)

Eczema (atopic dermatitis) is a non-contagious chronic skin condition that produces an itchy rash. It is caused by a genetic condition that affects the skin’s ability to protect itself from bacteria and allergens. The most susceptible are those with a family hi…

Inflamed eyelid (blepharitis)

Inflamed eyelid, or blepharitis, is a bacterial infection of the skin at the base of the eyelashes.

If the oil glands around the eyelashes become clogged, normal skin bacteria will multiply in the oil and cause infection. The glands can become blocked due to dandruff of the scalp and eyebrows; allergies to eye makeup or contact lens solution; or eyelash mites or lice.

Symptoms include red, swollen, painful eyelids; oily, dandruff-like flakes of skin at the base of the eyelashes; and eyelashes that grow abnormally or fall out.

If the symptoms do not clear with hygiene, see a medical provider. Blepharitis can become chronic and lead to infections of the eyelids and cornea; dry eyes which cannot take contact lenses; and scarring and deformity of the eyelids.

Diagnosis is made through physical examination of the eyelids, under magnification and through skin swab of the eyelashes.

Treatment includes warm compresses and careful washing of the eyelids; antibiotics in pill or cream form; steroid eyedrops; and treatment for any underlying condition such as dandruff or rosacea.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: eye itch, sensitivity to light, eye redness, feeling of something in the eye, dry eyes

Symptoms that never occur with inflamed eyelid (blepharitis): severe eye pain

Urgency: Self-treatment

Irritant contact dermatitis

Irritant contact dermatitis means a skin reaction that is caused by directly touching an irritating substance, and not by an infectious agent such as a bacteria or virus.

Common causes are soap, bleach, cleaning agents, chemicals, and even water. Almost any substance can cause it with prolonged exposure. Contact dermatitis is not contagious.

Anyone who works with an irritating substance can contract the condition. Mechanics, beauticians, housekeepers, restaurant workers, and health care providers are all susceptible.

Symptoms include skin that feels swollen, stiff, and dry, and becomes cracked and blistered with painful open sores.

A medical provider can give the best advice on how to heal the skin and avoid further irritation. Self-treatment can make the problem worse if the wrong creams or ointments are used.

Diagnosis is made through patient history, to find out what substances the patient comes into contact with, and through physical examination of the damaged skin.

Treatment involves avoiding the irritating substance if possible. Otherwise, the person can use petroleum jelly on the hands underneath cotton and then rubber gloves.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: rash with well-defined border, itchy rash, red or pink, rough patch of skin, painful rash, red rash

Symptoms that always occur with irritant contact dermatitis: rash with well-defined border

Symptoms that never occur with irritant contact dermatitis: fever, black-colored skin changes, brown-colored skin changes, blue-colored skin changes

Urgency: Self-treatment

Redness Around The Eye Symptom Checker

Take a quiz to find out what might be causing your redness around the eye

Stye and chalazion

A stye (or hordeolum) is an infection in the upper or lower eyelid. There are three glands around the eye and one of them is infected.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: swelling of one eyelid, redness around the eye, feeling of something in the eye, eyelid lump, eyelid pain

Symptoms that always occur with stye and chalazion: swelling of one eyelid

Symptoms that never occur with stye and chalazion: fever

Urgency: Self-treatment

Shingles (herpes zoster)

Shingles is a painful rash that results when the varicella zoster virus (VZV) — the same virus that causes the chickenpox — becomes reactivated. It results in a painful rash of small fluid-filled blisters (vesicles) over a single strip of skin on one side of the body…

Orbital cellulitis

Orbital Cellulitis(https://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/eye-disorders/orbital-diseases/preseptal-and-orbital-cellulitis) is an uncommon condition in which an infection has breached or circumvented the outer portion of the eye and affected the tissues of the orbit, also known a…

How to treat the skin around your eyes

As well as being the UK’s number one provider of laser eye surgery, and carrying out thousands of sight tests every year, Optical Express also provide services that look after your all-round eye care.

We understand that to enable optimum eye health, it’s important to look after the sensitive skin around your eyes.

The eyelid is unique, the skin is thinner than the rest of the skin on the body and it lacks the fat which cushions the rest of the body’s skin. As a result your eyelids are more susceptible to irritants and skin conditions.

If your eyelids are dry it can cause them to be flaky, scaly and rough. When this happens you can experience irritation, redness and itchiness, among other symptoms.

Causes of dry eyelids

There are a number of causes of dry skin on the eyelids, including:

  • Low humidity
  • The aging process
  • Exposure to irritants.

As well as these factors, there are underlying conditions of varying severity which can cause dry eyelids, including; contact dermatitis, atopic dermatitis, and blepharitis.

Contact dermatitis

Contact dermatitis is a condition that occurs when the skin comes into contact with an irritant. The outcome is dry, red, irritated and flaky skin. Contact dermatitis can appear at any time in your life as you can develop an allergy to a substance despite never having had a reaction to it before. Also, be aware that the products you use can alter their ingredients without your knowledge.

Treatments include:

  • Identify and avoid – Isolate the cause of the contact dermatitis and avoid contact with it
  • Emollients – when applied directly to the skin, emollients reduce water loss and moisturise the skin
  • Topical corticosteroids – If your skin is very red, sore and inflamed, your GP may prescribe a topical corticosteroid (cream or ointment applied directly to your skin) that can quickly reduce the inflammation.

Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis can cause scaling on your skin as well as making it itchy, red, and even crack.

Common amongst young children, atopic dermatitis shares many of the symptoms of contact dermatitis. The condition can be hereditary, caused by environmental factors, or because of a problem with your immune system. Atopic dermatitis is a chronic condition, but flare-ups can be treated.

Treatments include:

  • Moisturisers– use daily to avoid the skin becoming dry
  • Topical corticosteroids – creams to reduce swelling and redness during flare-ups
  • Antihistamines for severe itching

Blepharitis

This condition occurs on the eyelid and can be caused by bacteria or a form of dermatitis which causes the Meibomian glands to become blocked. Blepharitis affects your eyelashes or the inner edge of the eye. Blepharitis can cause symptoms such as irritation, redness, burning, and watery eyes.

Treatments include:

  • Eyelid hygiene – it’s important to clean your eyelids every day if you have blepharitis
  • Warm compresses – soak a clean flannel or eye pad in cooled boiled water and gently place this over the eyes for around 10 minutes
  • Eyelid massage – gently massage your closed eyes by rolling your little finger in a circular motion along the eyelid or take a cotton wool bud and, with your eyes shut, gently roll it downwards on the upper eyelid towards the lashes and edges of the eyelids
  • Antibiotic drops and ointments – If you have blepharitis that doesn’t respond to regular cleaning, you may be prescribed a course of antibiotic ointments, creams or eye drops.

If you’re worried about these or any other eye conditions, make an appointment to see one of our expert optometrists today who can conduct a thorough check on your eyes.

Eye Health

How to get rid of puffy eyes and dark circles

Conditions

By Marilyn Haddrill; contributions and review by Charles Slonim, MD

Puffy eyes and dark circles under the eyes occur for many reasons, including inherited facial features, allergies, stress, eye fatigue and individual skin characteristics such as texture.

While certain home remedies such as soothing cucumber slices — or even anti-hemorrhoid creams such as Preparation H — may temporarily relieve puffy eyes, a more long-lasting solution depends on the underlying cause.

What causes puffy eyes and dark circles under eyes?

Swelling around the eyes is caused by an excessive accumulation of fluids (edema) in the surrounding skin tissue. Because the skin around the eyes is very thin, swelling and discoloration can be quite prominent.

But why does fluid accumulate to form puffy eyes in the first place?

Puffy eyes generally result from a variety of factors, including:

  1. Overconsumption of salt, which causes fluid retention
  2. Allergies that can cause inflammation and swelling
  3. Sinus problems
  4. Dehydration
  5. Fatigue and lack of sleep
  6. Stress
  7. Crying
  8. Aging
  9. Inherited facial features

Unfortunately, many people have puffy eyes simply because this trait runs in their family.

With aging, eye puffiness can be caused in part when fatty tissue that ordinarily protects the eye inside the bony eye socket begins to push forward and fill in spaces below the eye.

This happens because aging processes cause thinning of the membrane or “septum” that ordinarily holds back fat in both the upper and lower eyelids. As the membrane thins, the fat herniates and pushes forward, causing puffy eyes and dark circles and bags under the eyes.

Why do I have puffy eyes when I wake up?

When we’re sleeping, we don’t blink. And this is part of the reason why eye puffiness develops.

Dark circles can form under the eyes from stress or lack of sleep.

Blinking for eyelids is like walking for legs. When idle, some people develop swelling in their lower extremities that goes away as soon as they start walking and muscles in the legs begin “milking” the trapped fluids (edema), which are absorbed back into circulation.

A similar action takes place in the eyelids.

The closed, non-blinking eyelids during sleep potentially can swell in certain people prone to this problem. So in the mornings, you could wake up with unusually puffy, swollen eyelids. When you wake up and start blinking, some of the puffiness gradually goes away.

Do puffy eyes mean I have a medical condition?

When swollen eyelids occur suddenly, it might be a sign you have an underlying medical problem.

For example, people with thyroid eye disease can develop swelling of tissue and muscles around their eyes. Also, bulging eyes can signal a thyroid disorder known as Graves’ disease.

Eye allergies also can cause swollen eyes. Other types of allergies, such as reactions to certain foods or chemicals, can cause swollen eyelids as well.

During an allergic reaction, certain cells in the body release a chemical called histamine. This can cause fluid to leak from blood vessels, resulting in edema and puffiness in surrounding tissues, including around the eyes.

Puffy, swollen eyelids and dark circles under the eyes can occur when you have an eye infection such as pink eye. In some cases, inflammation from dry eye syndrome also can cause puffy eyes.

Kidney failure and other systemic diseases can cause swelling throughout the body, including around the eyes.

What can be done about puffy eyes and dark circles?

To find the best solution for puffy eyes and dark circles, it’s important to identify the underlying cause.

If you have the same puffy appearance around your eyes as your mother or father, it’s probably an inherited trait. In this case, you might want to consider cosmetic eyelid surgery to get rid of the puffiness.

Puffy eyes due to aging also can be eliminated with cosmetic eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty).

You might want to discuss with your eye doctor or cosmetic surgeon some of the other procedures available to lessen the appearance of puffy eyes and dark circles under the eyes. These include chemical peels and laser skin resurfacing.

Many temporary remedies also can help reduce the swollen look around eyes, such as:

  • Using eye drops for irritation caused by allergies, if appropriate
  • Drinking ample fluid to prevent dehydration
  • Applying iced compresses when your lids are swollen
  • Applying cucumber slices or chilled tea bags over closed eyes
  • Using creams and other skin products specially formulated for use around the eyes
  • Reducing salt in your diet
  • Eating potassium-rich foods, such as bananas, to eliminate excess fluids in your body
  • Splashing cold water over your face and eyes
  • Getting plenty of sleep

One of the most common home remedies for puffy eyes, as mentioned above, is use of hemorrhoid creams and ointments on the skin around your eyes. A common active ingredient in these preparations is phenylephrine, which is a medication that constricts blood vessels.

This can have a potential dual effect on puffy eyelids and dark circles under the eyes. Constricting blood vessels may reduce the potential for leakage of fluid that causes puffiness. And if the dark circles under your eyes are caused by dilated blood vessels under the skin below your eyes, shrinking these blood vessels may reduce the darkness.

Be aware that there are risks associated with using hemorrhoid creams for puffy eyes and dark circles. If you accidentally get these products in your eyes, you can experience a severe inflammatory response known as chemical conjunctivitis.

Before trying hemorrhoid cream or other home remedies for puffy eyes, ask your eye doctor for advice about other treatment options that are safe and more effective.

NEED AN EYE EXAM? Find an eye doctor near you.

Page updated July 2019

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How to get rid of red eyes

Subconjunctival hemorrhage

This refers to a broken blood vessel immediately beneath the surface of the eye. It is a harmless condition that usually goes away within a week or two.

The small bleed is visibly bright red in the white of the eye. It often happens for no clear reason, but it may result from coughing, a blood disorder, or – rarely – high blood pressure.

Dry eyes

Share on PinterestDry eyes and rubbing the eyes can cause them to go red.

These can lead to red eye. This is a common problem resulting from the eyes producing fewer tears, or greater loss of the watery substance from the eye. Artificial tears may help.

If the dry eyes are associated with the work environment or using computer screens, changes may also help. Using protective glasses in a dusty environment or taking breaks from screen work are examples.

Contact lenses

These may cause red eye when worn for long periods. Wearers can cut down the amount of time they are left in to avoid the problem. Using artificial tears may also help.

Chemical irritation

If a chemical has splashed into the eye or if you touch your eye after handling chili peppers, rinse it immediately with water.

Black eye

If red eye is accompanied by bruising around the eye following a trauma, apply an ice pack for 15 to 20 minutes at a time, every hour for the first day, to reduce swelling.

If vision is affected or if there is blood in the eye or pain with movement, see a doctor at once.

6 Home Remedies for Baggy Eyes

Your eyes are expert communicators, helping you relay your thoughts and emotions to others. But a pair of puffy peepers probably says a lot more than you intend—that you’re tired, sick or simply feeling blah. The delicate, sensitive skin around the eyes—it’s thinner here than anywhere else— is one of the first places the body shows signs of stress, in fact.

It doesn’t take much for puffiness to appear. Allergies, stress and a lack of sleep are common culprits, as they cause fluid to pool in the under-eye area, which leads to mild swelling (edema). Rubbing your eyes when they’re itchy, teary or tired doesn’t help either, since it only inflames the area more. A diet high in salt (even just one sodium-packed late-night meal) can also be to blame, since it can cause you to retain fluid.

While there are creams and even medical procedures that aim to reduce bags, there are at-home remedies that are effective, too—and a lot less expensive. These six natural solutions will not only temporarily improve the appearance of the skin under your eyes, but offer a few moments of relaxation and spa-like calm too.

Chilled Spoons
A cereal spoon can come in handy for more than just eating breakfast. Chill two of them in a refrigerator for a few minutes, then lie down and place the back of each spoon over a closed eye (they’re the perfect shape for resting on your eyelid). Take a full 10 minutes to relax and let the area be soothed as the coldness constricts blood vessels; you should notice less swelling.

Sliced Potatoes
Grab a potato from your pantry and cut about four to six half-inch-thick slices; each should be large enough to cover the eye area. Lie down and place one slice on each eye for 10 minutes; repeat with fresh slices on each eye until under-eye puffiness has been reduced. Potatoes contain the anti-inflammatory enzyme catecholase, which can improve bagginess and diminish dark circles. Wash the area when finished and apply coconut oil. The starch from the potato will draw out toxins while the coconut oil will take away any dryness from the potato. (For those dark circles: Make a soft paste with tomato or pineapple juice, a squeeze of lemon and some baking soda. Pat under the eye and leave for 20 minutes. Rinse with warm then cold water.)

Egg Whites
Another breakfast helper for baggy eyes: egg whites, which work as a natural astringent to temporarily tighten swollen skin. Whisk two whites (take them directly from the fridge so your eyes can benefit from the chill, too) until smooth and gently apply them to your under-eye area with your index or middle finger. Leave on for five to 10 minutes—you may feel a tightening effect, similar to what you experience during a purifying face mask—then rinse off with lukewarm water.

Green Tea Bags
Green tea is a boon to skin: It’s packed with antioxidants that combat free radicals (which break down skin cells), plus it has anti-inflammatory properties, making it an optimal treatment for swelling. The tea’s tannins act as a gentle astringent and its caffeine constricts blood flow that causes puffiness. Soak two teabags in ice water for several minutes, then cover the under-eye area with them; wait for 15 to 20 minutes for best results.

Cold Cucumber Slices
Don’t underestimate the humble cucumber: Strategically placed, chilled slices of this refreshing veggie can help de-puff eyes with the help of its caffeic acid; the compound restricts blood vessels (as does the cold temperature). Cucumbers also contain vitamin C, which help sooth irritated skin. Keep a cuke in the fridge and, when you need to, slice up two one-half-inch pieces, lie down, apply the slices to your eye area and take a few minutes to unwind.

Water
If you want check those (eye) bags once and for all, do what you can to stay hydrated. Though it may sound counterintuitive, drinking plenty of water is crucial for helping your body naturally flush out fluids that cause swelling. A few times a day, take a water break, or always keep a bottle close by so you can sip as you go about your business. Women should aim for about nine cups of water a day, while men should get about 13. Remember that teas, soups and fruits and vegetables also count toward your daily tally.

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Virtually every major beauty brand has a range of creams and serums that promise to make the skin under your eyes smooth. Alas, it’s tempting to turn to more affordable beauty hacks, like smearing the hemorrhoid cream Preparation H on puffy eyes, in an emergency. But is Preparation H a real secret weapon or an outdated old wives’ tale?

First things first: Puffy eyes can be incredibly difficult to treat, in part because they’re so common. Puffiness—which is swollen, often red skin under the eyes—is usually due to bloating, dehydration, fatigue, allergies, hormones, or genetics. Such a wide range of possible causes brings a similarly long list of possible treatments, and nothing will be effective 100 percent of the time for everyone. “It’s important to take an individual approach depending on what the problem is,” says Mary L. Stevenson, M.D., assistant professor in the Ronald O. Perelman Department of Dermatology at NYU Langone.

In theory, Preparation H seems like it should work. The cream restricts the blood vessels, which can reduce redness, and it contains 1 percent hydrocortisone, an anti-inflammatory that in theory might temporarily reduce puffiness. But this is a time to heed the package’s warnings about proper usage and keep it off your face: Preparation H has a number of ingredients that can cause injury if you accidentally get some in your eye and cause extra irritation to the sensitive skin around the eyes. In fact, this is why the medicine’s makers explicitly caution against using it for puffy eyes.

So what about using plain hydrocortisone cream? That’s also risky: As with Preparation H, you don’t want to accidentally get the stuff in your eyes. In fact, the label on Cortizone 10 Anti-Itch Creme states that you should not use the product in, or near, your eyes. Also, prolonged use of topical steroids like hydrocortisone has been shown to cause skin thinning, increased skin fragility, enlarged blood vessels, and can even result in problems with your adrenal gland (the natural steroid producer in the body).

Rest assured, however, there are products out there that are specifically formulated to bring temporary relief for puffy eyes, Stevenson says, such as products with caffeine, which can help constrict the blood vessels. You can also apply cool water compresses to the area, sleep with your head slightly elevated, and apply makeup and eye cream. Look for eye creams claiming to be “firming” that can temporarily tighten skin.

The best way to get rid of undereye puffiness is to address the underlying roots of the problem. To do that, you need to:

  • Get enough rest. Experts recommend between 7 and 8 hours nightly.

  • Stay hydrated. Drink enough water and minimize intake of salty foods, which can also lead to dehydration and water retention.

  • Wear sunscreen. “Puffiness around the eyes is a pretty common complaint, especially as we get older and lose support of muscle structure and fat,” Stevenson says. “Skin elasticity fails over time because of sun damage, this includes skin around your eyes,” The best defense against long-term damage and discoloration is to focus on consistent sun protection.

  • Get checked for allergies. If you notice puffiness at certain times of the year, you may be prone to seasonal allergies. If puffiness is a year-round problem, you could be allergic to anything from airborne allergens, such as grass, to certain foods that are a part of your diet. Talk to your doctor about your concerns.

  • Consider your other options. Puffy eyes and noticeable under-eye skin is hereditary for some people, and that’s OK. If a doctor cannot identify a medical cause and course of treatment for puffy eyes, it’s up to you what, if anything, to do to conceal their appearance. Whether it’s a large dose of concealer, eye cream, or a consultation with a board-certified professional about cosmetic options like fillers or lasers, there are many options better than smearing hydrocortisone near your eyes.

Eyes Swollen from Crying? Try One of These 13 Home Remedies

When you cry, fluid congregates in the eyelids and around the eye area. Reducing the swelling is all about cooling and moving the fluid away from the eyes.

1. Apply a cold compress

A cold compress can help reduce swelling. Simply grab a clean washcloth and wet it with cool water. Sit up in bed or in a comfortable chair. Apply the wet washcloth to the skin under and around your eyes for a few minutes, using gentle pressure.

2. Apply cucumber slices or tea bags

Cucumber slices can also help soothe puffy eyes and reduce swelling, but you have to have a refrigerated cucumber on hand. If you do, wash your cucumber before cutting two 1/4-inch slices off. You can save the rest of the cucumber for later. Keep the slices on your eyelids until they’re no longer cool.

The idea with using tea bags is all about caffeine. Most varieties of black tea contain caffeine, and there’s some evidence that it can penetrate the skin, ease puffiness, and increase circulation. To try this method, wet two tea bags, refrigerate for 20 minutes, and then place them on your eyes for 15 to 30 minutes.

3. Gently tap or massage the area to stimulate blood flow

You can work to increase blood flow to the affected area by gently tapping or massaging around your eyes.

To do this:

  1. Work the pressure points in your brow for a few seconds before sweeping your fingers from the inside corner of your eye outward. This helps drain that area that’s inflamed.
  2. Then tap at your sinuses using two fingers on each hand, starting on either side of your nose and working outward. You may even feel fluid moving in this area.
  3. It’s all about moving fluid, so you may also want to gently massage the lymph nodes in your neck. Work in a downward motion, away from your face.
  4. Continue for about 3 minutes, and repeat as needed.

4. Apply witch hazel

You may have witch hazel hanging around in your medicine cabinets. This astringent helps with inflammation and redness, making it a good choice to combat puffy eyes. To use, apply witch hazel to a cotton pad and apply the pad to your eye area for 5 to 10 minutes.

Popular, alcohol-free witch hazel brands include Thayers, T.N. Dickinson’s, and Quinn’s.

5. Use an eye roller

Eye cooling gels that are applied using a metal roller ball can also help with inflammation.

The First Aid Beauty Detox Eye Roller gets solid reviews and uses caffeine in its formula to have a similar effect as tea bags. A higher-end option is Clinique’s All About Eyes Serum. It describes its application as a “mini massage” that both cools and hydrates.

Apply by holding the product much like you would an eye pencil. Sweep it back and forth on the affected area to massage in.

6. Apply a chilled face cream or serum

Again, cooling down the eye area can help reduce puffiness by constricting blood vessels. Try chilling your favorite face cream or other products, like eye cream, before applying.

The Body Shop’s Soothing Night Cream is gel-based and lightweight. It also contains calming aloe.

Organys Rejuvenating Eye Cream is a best seller for its ability to fight dark circles and puffiness. It’s also organic and not tested on animals.

10 Ways to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes

There are many ways to help reduce puffiness around your eyes. Some remedies are simple, like drinking more water. Others are more involved, like getting cosmetic surgery. Here are some tips and tricks to try to get rid of puffy eyes.

1. Get enough sleep

Logging a good night’s sleep regularly will help you reduce your puffy eyes. Adults need around 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. To ensure you’re sleeping enough, create a bedtime routine and stick to it.

It’s important to remember that your bedtime routine actually starts long before you lay down to sleep.

Experts suggest that to get a good night’s rest, you should:

  • Stick to a sleep schedule.
  • Stop drinking caffeine at least 6 to 12 hours before bedtime.
  • Stop drinking alcohol close to bedtime.
  • Finish eating dinner about 2 hours before bedtime.
  • Finish exercising several hours before bedtime.
  • Turn off electronics 1 hour before bedtime.

2. Prop yourself up

Sleep with a few pillows under your head to avoid fluid settling around your eyes. If you’re unable to sleep at an angle on a wedge pillow or stack of pillows, try raising the head of your bed a bit for the same effect.

To do this, put a stack of books or other wedge under the feet of your bed on the side where you rest your head. If you notice a difference in how often or how severe your eyes get puff up, consider a more stable solution like bed risers.

3. Address your allergies

Talk with your doctor if you have year-round or seasonal allergies. Allergies can cause your eyes to redden, swell, and puff up. This prompts you to rub your eyes more, resulting in further puffiness. Your doctor can help create a treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms. This may include eye drops and over-the-counter or prescription medication.

4. Drink enough water

Eye puffiness can be the result of dehydration. Make sure you drink plenty of water every day to keep your skin healthy. The general rule of thumb is to drink eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily.

To stay on track, consider setting an hourly reminder on your phone. You can also use a refillable water bottle marked with specific times to help you drink enough water throughout the day.

5. Avoid alcohol

Try to limit or avoid alcohol and other drinks that can make you dehydrated. Dehydration can result in puffy eyes, so have a glass of water instead.

If you’re tired of plain water, infusing it with fresh fruit is a great way to stay hydrated and refreshed. Try adding your fruit of choice to a custom water bottle for infused water that lasts all day long.

Check out: Here’s what happens when you quit drinking alcohol for a month “

6. Pass on the salt

Eating too much salt can cause additional fluid retention in your body. It can also lead to other health problems, like a greater risk of heart problems and stroke. The current percent daily value for sodium is 2,400 milligrams (mg). However, the American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium to 1,500 mg per day.

As much as 75 percent of sodium found in American diets comes from processed or restaurant foods. To reduce your salt intake, steer clear of cured meats, cheese, pickles, and other processed foods. Prepackaged foods like instant soups are often high in sodium. Reading labels can help you identify excessive amounts of salt.

Instead, eat more whole foods such as fresh vegetables and fruits.

7. Eat more potassium

Potassium can help reduce excess fluids in your body, so you may want to ramp up your potassium intake. You can do this by adding bananas, beans, yogurt, and leafy greens to your diet.

If you’re already eating a potassium-rich diet, talk to your doctor about whether your potassium level is fine as is or if you can safely add a daily potassium supplement to your routine.

8. Use a cool compress

A cool washcloth that you rest on your eyelids for about 10 minutes can reduce eye puffiness. This can help drain excess fluid from under your eye. A compress of green or black tea bags may also do the trick. The tea contains antioxidants that can constrict blood vessels and reduce puffiness.

9. Try an eye cream

There are many eye creams on the market that may help puffiness. Some ingredients to look for in an eye cream include chamomile, cucumber, and arnica. They contain properties that may reduce inflammation and tighten the skin. Caffeine in eye creams and makeup may also help reduce puffy eyes.

10. Talk to your doctor about cosmetic surgery

If your eye puffiness is severe, and if lifestyle changes or other remedies don’t work, you may want to consider cosmetic surgery. One type of surgery is blepharoplasty, which is eyelid surgery. This procedure involves a doctor moving or removing excess fat, muscle, and skin in your eyelid.

Your doctor may also have recommendations for laser treatments, chemical peels, or prescription medications to help serious cases of puffy eyes.

Keep reading: Tips to sleep better “

I Woke Up With Eye Bags So Swollen I Could Barely See—and Doctors Had No Idea Why

I’ve always looked to my eyes as an indicator of overall wellness. On a perfect day, when I’m well-rested, hydrated, eating well, and unstressed, I’ll wake up to see that my eyes are almond-shaped and clear, my lids are slightly droopy, and the outline of my cheekbone is noticeable.

When I woke up on February 14, I saw none of that. Instead, I had weirdly puffy bags under my eyes. Maybe I had too much sodium last night, I thought, remembering that I ate bibimbap for dinner. But by the next day, the bags had gotten even worse. I decided to hydrate a ton and wait for the next morning to show me some change. It didn’t. On February 16, I could tell my eyes were not just puffy but swollen.

RELATED: 7 Eye Symptoms and What They Could Mean

I went to urgent care and told them what had been happening. The doctor insisted it was allergies, and said I should take some Claritin. Two days later, I was back in the same urgent care, where a new doctor could now tell there was something wrong with my eyes; the bags had grown very large and my upper eyelids were very swollen. It was hard to even fully open my eyes. He ordered blood tests and prescribed oral steroids, while also giving me a fast-acting steroid shot. Within minutes, my eyes were starting to look and feel better.

The next day, urgent care called me back in. The doc said the blood tests were negative, and I had allergic blepharitis, or swollen eyelids triggered by an allergy. They also gave me a long-lasting steroid shot. “This should clear it up,” he said. “But if it doesn’t, then more extensive tests will need to be run.” I hoped this was the fix and I’d be back to normal soon.

Later that day, February 19, I drove a friend to the airport and finally went home to rest. Although the full-blown swelling hadn’t returned to my eyes, I could tell the evening had brought on a bit more subtle irritation—almost as if I’d rubbed my eyes a lot. I had a feeling I’d wake up to swelling the next morning, and I did.

RELATED: 5 Reasons Your Allergies Are Worse at Night

I called my primary care physician and made an appointment for that Friday, the first available. In the meantime, I returned to urgent care requesting another fast-acting steroid shot to hold off symptom progression. It worked again quickly, but its effects only lasted for 24 hours when my eyes became swollen and uncomfortable. I had to take more time off from my work as a freelance writer and author to deal with everything.

I went to the emergency room on February 20, to make sure nothing was terribly wrong. A nurse said my eyes were very dilated, and the ER doctor couldn’t determine the issue either after more testing. He recommended tracking my eyes with daily pictures while waiting for my PCP appointment, and taking Benadryl.

The swelling continued to get more serious throughout the week. It was typically at its worst in the morning, better in the afternoon, slightly worse again in the evening. I was having trouble opening my eyes when I woke up, and difficulty seeing normally; I wear glasses to see screens or street signs at a distance, but I suddenly had to wear my glasses everywhere.

New creases had replaced the old on my upper eyelid, as the swelling moved around and expanded the skin underneath my brow bone. The skin near my lash line was now constantly irritated, and pockets of fluid had formed underneath my eyes where the “bags” had once been.

RELATED: 7 Health Benefits of Birth Control Pills Nobody Talks About

Because my eyesight was so poor, my mother drove me to the doctor at the end of the week. By Friday, my PCP told me I had angioedema, which is swelling caused by an accumulation of fluid somewhere in the skin’s deeper layers. Usually, angioedema occurs in the eyes, around the mouth, or on the cheeks, but it can also include the hands, feet, and genitals.

Angioedema has many forms and can be caused by an allergy or a medication, among other things. At the time of my appointment, the source of my angioedema could not be determined. But I brought my doctor the only thing that I had changed in my routine before the condition developed: my birth control pills.

I’d started a combination estrogen-progesterone pill on February 12, two days before my eyes became puffy. I stopped taking it on February 21. It was just a hunch I had that my oral contraceptive might have something to do this. I’d been on the same type of pill before, and I didn’t tolerate it well. My PCP was surprised that no doctor had told me to stop taking it. Although birth control pills were an unlikely catalyst for these symptoms, it was also the only change to my routine.

With the pill stopped, my focus was on the ever-worsening angioedema. My doc told me it could take days, weeks, or months for my symptoms to fully go away. Since the fast-acting steroid shot seemed to help, he prescribed me 60 mg of prednisone, a steroid, for one week and told me to let him know how things were going. This burst of oral steroids did help; my symptoms had drastically reduced by the end of the following week.

RELATED: 8 Reasons Your Eyes Are Red—and How to Treat Them

However, on Saturday, after 24 hours off the medication, the swelling started to return rapidly. By Sunday morning, my eyes were nearly the size they were at their worst, about as large as golf balls. My doctor then put me on two more weeks of 60 mg prednisone, and a gradual taper for the next three weeks.

I was afraid the swelling would come back when I was off the prednisone, but so far it hasn’t. In the absence of pain, I had never realized how scary swelling could be—a message from your body that something is wrong, a sign of inflammation, a sign of disruption to your internal stasis. This is especially true when swelling starts to hinder any of your five senses.

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I am still dealing with a few after-effects of my time on the steroids. My face rounded out a bit around the chin, and I gained a little weight. I’m back to work writing. As for what caused my angioenema, my doctor thinks I may have an allergy to the synthetic estrogen found in some birth control pills, although that’s not a common reaction.

Though it’s unclear if the pill had anything to do with my symptoms, I have no plans to go back on that specific type again. I’ve been talking to friends about non estrogen–based methods and considering my options. As of now, the eye swelling has receded. But it’s left behind a renewed appreciation for my senses and what they allow me to experience. I no longer take for granted the ability to open up my eyes in the morning and see the city so clearly out my window.

Red and puffy eyes

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