Causes of Puffy Eyes – Meaning, From Crying, Morning, Allergies, Puffiness Under Eyes Prevention and Symptoms

What causes puffy eyes? Get info on the causes of puffy eyes such crying, in the morning, allergies, age, fluid retention etc. as well as prevention and common symptoms you will have when suffering from this condition.  Some of the key questions that will be answered in this discussion include the following:

Puffy Eyes Causes - What Is Puffiness under Eye, Prevention and Symptoms

Puffiness under Eye

  • How do you prevent puffy eyes?
  • Are puffy eyes the same as under eye bags?
  • What are the main causes of puffiness under eyes?
  • What are the symptoms of puffiness under eyes are they sight threatening

Puffiness under eyes make everyone to look tired, exhausted and very old. We have gone an extra mile to give you the most comprehensive list of causes of  puffiness under eyes to ensure you can deal with the problem wellHowever, if you were looking for information on how to get rid of puffiness under eyes, we also how an article covering that area, see how to get rid of puffy eyes – cures, remedies and treatments.

What Are Puffy Eyes or Puffiness Under Eyes?

Puffy eyes and under eye bags are the two most commonly confused conditions. Whereas many people often assume the two mean the same thing, they have a slight difference. In fact, you need to know if you have eyes that are puffy or under eye bags if you are to treat them effectively.

While discussing what puffiness under eyes are or what puffiness under eyes are, we want to create the contrast with under eye bags to help you know whether you have puffy under eyes or under eye bags. Furthermore, when we cover the causes of puffiness under eyes, everything will be clearer.

In terms of appearance, eyes that are puffy closely resemble under eye bags and most people often say one while meaning the other. However, if you observed your eyes carefully, you will notice a difference which will enable you to know if you have puffiness under eyes or under eye bags.

Puffy eyes also known as periorbital puffiness refer to the swelling of the orbital tissue around your eyes that is mainly caused by fluids build up. When the swelling affects the lower eyelid only (also refers to as minor puffiness) it is could be considered as under eye bags. This means by looking at the affected areas, you should be able to tell if you have puffiness under eyes or under eye bags.

Generally, when you have eyes that are puffy, you are going to have dark under eye circles, sagging skin, swollen eyelids and too much skin on your eyelids that will make your eyes to look very tired and bruised. The exact appearance might however vary depending on what causes of eyes that are puffy might be for your case. Both the two conditions could be caused by a number of things, aging being one of them. This will make everything much clear and help you determine if you have puffiness under eyes or under eye bags.

Symptoms of Puffy Eyes

Symptoms of Puffy Eyes

Symptoms of Puffy Eyes

You now know what puffy eyes are; it is good to see some of the symptoms that come with puffiness under eye before we can discuss the causes of puffy eyes, which is the main subject matter of the article. When you have puffiness under eyes, you are bound to experience some or all of the following symptoms.

  • The first puffy eye symptom is the felling of scratchy and itchy sensation due to eye irritation
  • Some people will have watery eyes due to too much production of tears
  • Depending on the level of under puffiness under eyes, some people will have vision obstruction.
  • Conjunctiva inflammation and reddening of eyes
  • Some people will experience eye mattering or some discharges from their eyes when they have puffy eyes.
  • Flaking and dryness of eyelids
  • Blurred vision
  • Pain when the swelling is caused by infections.

These are some of the common symptoms of eye pufiness. Although they are not life threatening, it is good not to ignore them. Try the various ways to cure puffy eyes, treatments or remedies available.

Sometimes, puffiness under eyes symptoms could be sight threatening, especially if you have orbital cellulitis, ocular herpes or Graves’ disease. Ensure you see a physician if you have any of this sight threatening puffiness under eyes symptoms. Now let us look at the puffy eye causes.

Puffy Eye Causes – What Causes Under puffiness under eyes

Effective treatment of eyes that are puffy requires you thoroughly to understand the causes of puffiness under eyes.  Depending on the cause of eyes that are puffy for your case, you will have recommendations of treatment or remedies to go for. So, what are the main causes of eyes that are puffy?

Eye Allergies – The first cause of puffy eyes is allergies. Our environments are filled with various eye irritants (allergens) which when we encounter them, they cause allergies. Some of the common allergens include contact lenses, some eye drop, eye makeup, viruses, cold, pollen, pet dander, pollen etc.

Whenever our eyes meet substances we are allergic to, they will react, swell, and retain more fluids, thereby causing eyes that are puffy. Normally, allergic reactions are a body defense mechanism against allergen, which unfortunately causes of puffy eyes especially when histamine is released into your eyes to swell the mucous membrane and dilate blood vessels. This will make your eyes itchy and red.

Fluid Retention – Among the common causes of puffiness under eyes is fluid retention. There are a number of conditions, which cause fluid retention in your eyes, which include hormonal variations (especially during menstruation), pregnancy and many other causes can lead to fluid retention.

Fluid retention can be caused by a many other reasons such as too much salt intake, too much alcohol or caffeinated drinks, lack of sleep, and many other causes. If you realize fluid retention is what causes of puffy eyes, try to establish the exact cause of fluid retention and you will be able to manage this problem well.

Age Related Puffy Eyes Causes  – Age is an undisputable cause of puffy eyes.  As we grow old, our skin becomes loose and the fats we have under our eyes tend to move to the eye area. This process of eyelid skin drooping and possible swelling coupled with the irreversible increase in “suborbicularis oculi fats’ and loss of muscle causes of puffiness under eyes.

In fact, this is among the most common causes of puffiness under eyes in senior people.  It is a natural process, which happens to most people as they age and it will be noticed by a visible distention particularly on the lower eyelid. However, even the upper eyelid could have this problem.

Conjunctivitis Puffy Eyes Cause – The other cause of puffiness under eyes is conjunctivitis. This is at time referred to as pink eye where you will suffer from an inflammation of your conjunctiva, the clear lining on your eye surface. Conjunctivitis is caused by bacterial, viral or allergic attack and you will have swollen eyelids, watery eyes and red eyes. This is one of the symptoms of puffy eyes as already seen earlier.

Eye Injury – Any eye injury or trauma can cause puffy eyes. This could include trauma caused by cosmetic surgery (eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty). Some people often suffer from puffy eyes whenever they undergo these surgeries or have a physical injury.

Causes of Puffy Eyes – Excessive Crying can cause eye puffiness

Excessive Crying can cause puffiness under eyes

Crying – As much as it might sound unreal, crying is another cause of puffy eyes. Although it causes temporary puffiness, it will make the blood vessels around your eyes to swell.

Furthermore, crying causes fluid retention i.e. as tears are flowing, some will be absorbed and this is another reason why you have puffy eyes whenever you cry. This will worsen the already swollen blood vessels, and your puffiness under eyes will be visible.  All the forms of tears often cause puffiness of eyes especially emotional tears.

Finally, Strong emotions associated with crying also makes the brain to send much blood to the face and eyes and this only serves to worsen the situation. However, this cause of eyes that are puffy should not worry you since it is temporary but could lead to other side effects you do not want.

Skin Disorders – Some skin disorders can cause puffy eyes. Suffering from conditions such as dermatitis makes the affected areas to be hypersensitive and this can lead to swollen or puffiness under eyes. Although this is not a very common cause of eye puffiness, it has been found to be a cause for some people.

Ocular Herpes – Ocular herpes, popularly known as the cold sore of the eye’ is one of the possible causes of puffy eyes. This disease is transmitted by the herpes simplex virus and it could cause corner inflammation and scarring. To know if the cause of puffiness under eyes s is ocular herpes, you will also have on your eyelids painful sores, blurry vision, swollen eyes and in extreme cases it can obstruct your vision.

Orbital Cellulitis – Although very rare, this condition is caused by a bacterial infection, it could lead to painful, and swollen upper and lower eyes thus one of the causes of puffy eyes. In extreme cases, this condition can cause swelling of the cheek and eyebrow. You will have fever, pain during eye movement, bulged eyes, and poor vision, and so on. This condition requires immediate and emergency treatment as ignoring it could lead to damage of optic nerves, permanent vision loss and blindness.

Contact Lenses – Improper use of contact lenses and poor hygiene has been found to cause puffy eyes due to infections. Furthermore, wearing damaged contact lenses can lead to swelling of eyelids and causes under puffiness under eyes.

Blepharitis – Going on with causes of puffy eyes, Blepharitis has been found to cause swelling and inflammation of eyelids. You will also experience eyebrow loss and flakes from your eyelids that look like dandruffs. This is a chronic condition whose symptoms can be minimized with medication and proper hygiene but never treated permanently.

Hereditary factors – to some people, their puffy eyes  is caused by nothing other than hereditary factors.  Baggy eyes, eye bugs and dark circles under the eye is caused by genetic and hereditary factors. Hereditary causes of eye puffiness, dark circles and eye bugs are not so common. To deal with them, you could try various techniques such as laser surfacing, eyelid surgery, cosmetic creams and chemical peels.

Causes of Puffy Eyes – Bad sleeping habits Like Sleep too much or lack of sleep

Bad sleeping habits Like Sleep too much or lack of sleep

Diet –Diet is another common cause of eyes that are puffy that many people ignore. Excess salt consumption can cause puffy eyes.  Generally, reduce salt consumption and foods with a lot of sodium, as sodium tends to encourage water retention

Oversleeping or Insufficient Sleep – too much sleeping or inadequate sleep is a common cause of puffiness under eyes. Furthermore, interruption your sleeping cycle can cause puffiness. Try to stick to your normal sleeping cycle if you do not want to suffer from eyes that are puffy.  To deal with puffiness caused by lack of sleep, try cold treatments, cosmetic creams and eye massages.

Other Causes of Puffy eyes

It is impossible to discuss all the causes of puffy eyes. We are going to list them below. You should do further research on each of the causes of puffy eyes and find ways to get rid of them.

Causes of Puffy Eyes - Excessive smoking and Alcohol consumption

Excessive smoking and Alcohol consumption Can Cause eyes that are puffy

  • Hypothyroidism and thyroid problems
  • Chagas disease or American trypanosomiasis
  • Nephrotic syndrome
  • Trichinosis
  • Body dehydration
  • Stye infection of Meibomian gland
  • Improper functioning of tear glands can also be a cause of puffy eyes.
  • Obstruction of vena cava
  • Alcohol and tobacco use – has toxins that can cause hormonal changes and stress thus puffiness under eyes.
  • Chalazion where the Meibomian gland becomes blocked
  • Mononucleosis when it comes with ‘supra orbital oedema’, can cause puffy eyes.

 Prevention of Puffy Eyes

Depending on the causes of puffy eyes, you can use various ways to prevent this condition. Some of the common ways of puffy eye prevention include the following:

  • If your eyes that are puffy are caused by water retention, consider reducing salt consumption, eat low carb-foods, and ensure your diet is rich in vitamins A, E and C.
  • The other way of preventing puffiness under eyes is being tested to see if you are allergic. Once you have been found allergic to certain allergens, try to avoid them.
  • If you have sensitive skin or eyes, try using fragrance free and hypoallergenic eye makeup and other eye products. This will reduce chances of suffering from puffy eyes caused by makeup that has ingredients that are allergens.
  • Ensure proper hygiene always if you use contact lenses. The lenses should be in a good condition and always replaced them as frequent as required.

The way of preventing puffy eyes revolve around understanding what causes eyes that are puffy. If you have fluid retention, you can sleep with your head elevated; get diuretics to help reduce fluid retention, etc (Diuretic pills and vitamin C can be used to help people who suffer from puffiness under eyes caused by fluid retention).  We have covered more on prevention of puffy eyes while discussion how to get rid of puffiness under eyes.


You know what puffiness under eyes is and you can tell the difference between puffy eyes and under eye bags. From the many causes of puffy eyes, you should also be able to know what causes yours and this can be of much help in dealing with this ugly old looking swollen eyelid problem. See how to get rid of puffy eyes including treatments, cures, best creams, etc.

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