Causes of Puffy Eye

Causes of Puffy Eye

What is the meaning of puffy eyes?




Puffy eye is a swelling of the connective tissue that surrounds the eye especially the eyelid due to the retention of fluid or blood. Most of the time it is a benign condition and resolves by itself but sometimes it can be related to medical conditions that require further investigations and treatments.


What are the causes of puffy eyes?


Most of causes are benign such as fatigue, lack of sleep, stress and poor diet. Diet with high amount of sodium can cause retention of fluid.



Causes related to the eye

  1. Puffy eyelids after crying.

  2. Aging. Normal aging process causes weakness in connective tissues that prevent periorbital fat from herniation.

  3. Allergic eye condition such as Allergic Conjunctivitis.

  4. Contact lenses. Damaged contact lenses, dirty contact lenses and allergy to contact lenses can cause puffy eyelid.

  5. Eye infection. Such as keratitis, periorbital cellulitis and orbital cellulitis.

  6. Eye and face trauma. Can cause collection of blood in the eyelid with red-brown discoloration.

  7. Eyelid and skin infection such as eye stye.

  8. Inflammatory eye and orbital conditions such as idiopathic orbital inflammatory syndrome.

  9. Post Eye surgeries such as after cataract eye surgery, after Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) and after eyelid surgery or blepharoplasty.



Causes related to sinus and nose

  1. Sinusitis either due to infection or allergy

  2. Upper respiratory tract infection

  3. Allergic conditions of the nose

  4. Nasolacrimal Duct problems

  5. After nose and sinus surgery


Causes related to Systemic diseases

  1. Thyroid eye disease

  2. Renal diseases. Can cause fluid retention

  3. Systemic allergic condition

  4. Heart condition with weak heart pump that cause



What are the causes of puffy eyes in the morning?

Waking up with swollen eyes is caused by

  1. Sleep position such as sleeping on your face

  2. Lack of sleep or prolong sleep

  3. Allergy from bed sheets

  4. Food you ate before sleeping especially food with high sodium that cause fluid retention and also if you drink alcohol.


Signs and Symptoms of Puffy eye

  • Most of the time it is asymptomatic and only swelling eyelid.

  • Itching can occur in allergic eye conditions and also in systemic allergic conditions.

  • Eye Pain, red eye and blurred vision can occur with eye infection, periorbital and orbital cellulitis

  • Nose discharge and coughing with puffy eye can occur in upper respiratory tract infection and nose problems.



When to seek medical advice?

As we said, most of the times it is a benign condition and doesn’t need any medical attention but you should seek medical advice if you suffer from:

  1. Red eye

  2. Eye discharge

  3. Eye pain

  4. Blurred vision or double vision

  5. Headache with nausea and vomiting

  6. Fever

  7. Any restrictions in eye movement

  8. Facial or neck swelling

  9. Breathing difficulties



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