What Causes Bags Under the Eyes?
As we grow older, tissues around the eye gradually weaken and sag. This loss of skin tone allows fat to shift forward into the lower eyelids making them look puffy and swollen. Fluid can also pool in this area and contribute to the puffy appearance.
Shadows may also appear under the eyes.
Other factors can contribute to under-eye bags, including:
- Not getting enough sleep
- Retaining fluid (often after waking up, or after eating salty food)
- Inheriting this condition (it can run in families)
While having bags or shadows under your eyes may not look especially attractive, it is usually harmless. However, if swelling of the eye area is painful ,itchy or excessively red we would suggest seeing your optometrist or GP.
What Can You Do for Under-Eye Bags?
Home remedies for under-eye bags
Certain home remedies can help lessen or eliminate the puffiness of under-eye bags and the appearance of shadows. Below are some tips:
- Use a cool compress on your eyes. Wet a clean washcloth with cool water. Place the damp washcloth around your eyes for a few minutes, applying very gentle pressure. Do this while sitting upright.
- Make sure you get enough sleep- the recommended is a regular 8 hours.
- Sleep with your head raised slightly. This can help keep fluid from settling around your eyes during sleep. Prop up the head of your bed a few inches, or simply add an extra pillow.
- Try to avoid drinking fluids before bed, and limit salt in your diet. That can help reduce fluid retention overnight that can lead to bags under your eyes.
- Quit smoking. Smoking can contribute to faster collagen loss. This makes the delicate skin under your eyes even thinner, leading to more visible blood vessels.
- Try to reduce your allergy symptoms. Avoid the things that cause your allergies whenever you can.
Skin therapies for lid puffiness
There are a number of skin treatments to reduce under-eye puffiness. These include laser resurfacing, chemical peels and fillers. These treatments are designed to tighten skin, improve its tone, and reduce the appearance of bags under the eyes.
Eyelid surgery for under-eye bags
A type of eyelid surgery called blepharoplasty may help eliminate bags under the eyes, depending on their cause. During this outpatient procedure, the eye surgeon creates an incision under the lashes or inside the lower lid. The surgeon removes excess fat through the incision and sometimes removes extra skin, then closes the incisions with tiny stitches.
In addition to correcting bags under eyes, blepharoplasty can also repair baggy or puffy upper eyelids.
Talk to your optometrist about referral recommendations.