What Causes Under-eye Bags and How to Prevent Them

Posted in Eye Health Tips

Dark, puffy, and swollen under-eyes are an unfortunate reality for many.  How does this happen and what can be done about it? Here’s what you need to know about under-eye “bags.” 

 

What Causes Under-eye Bags?

Dark purple or puffiness under the eyes is usually nothing to worry about. Often, it’s more of an annoyance or an aesthetic issue than something medical. As one ages, the muscles that support the eyelids become weaker and the fat that helps support the eyes can move into the lower eyelids. Fluid can also accumulate in this area, which contributes to the appearance of swelling. 

In addition to aging, there are some factors that may worsen under-eye bags. Here are a few:

  • Certain allergies can cause swelling in this area
  • Genetic predisposition 
  • Poor sleep habits
  • Smoking
  • Fluid retention (which may be caused by salty meals or excessive alcohol consumption)

 

How Can Under-eye Bags be prevented?

Luckily, you don’t have to just grin and bear it when you have under-eye bags. There are several options to prevent and treat this issue (depending on the severity). 

Here are some suggestions: 

  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce salt intake
  • Prioritize sleep
  • Elevate the head slightly while sleeping. A “wedge” pillow can help with this or add an extra pillow beneath the head.
  • Gently press a cool compress on the under-eyes for a few minutes until the puffiness decreases
  • Cosmetic products that target under-eye inflammation

 

If none of these options help,  other medical/cosmetic treatments are available. Laser resurfacing,  chemical peels, and fillers can be used to improve the appearance of under-eye bags. For severe cases, eyelid surgery (called blepharoplasty) may be the best option. 

It is important to check with a doctor to get advice about the best course of individualized treatment. Contact us if you have any further questions, or to schedule an appointment with one of our qualified eye doctors.

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