Puffy eyes are a cosmetic concern for both sexes, especially as the skin tissue around the eyes starts to weaken with age. Rarely a sign of medical illness, eye bags are usually the result of fluid retention caused by changes in weather, eating foods high in salt, or sleeping flat on your back. Allergies, such as hayfever or rhinitis, or not getting enough sleep, are other potential culprits. Even if under-eye bags are just part of your genetic makeup, they can be improved with the right care and some simple lifestyle changes.
Sleep with your head elevated, to prevent fluid from accumulating around your eyes as you sleep. Achieve this by resting your head on an extra pillow, or by propping up the head of your mattress.
Maintain healthy sleeping habits. According to the National Sleep Foundation, most adults need between seven and nine hours of sleep each night.
Drench a flannel or washcloth in cold water and apply as a cold compress to the skin under and around your eyes for five minutes every morning.
Reduce your salt intake to discourage fluid retention. Don't add extra salt when preparing and eating meals, and choose no-to-low sodium options, whenever possible. Be aware of hidden high-salt foods such as soy sauce.
Give yourself a manual lymphatic drainage massage to encourage fluid to drain away from the eye area. Press gently but firmly for three counts at small intervals along the eye socket using the ring finger of each hand. Work from the inner corners out to the temples, until you reach the dip at the outside edge of your eye socket.
Apply a very thin layer of cooling eye gel to the area around the eyes, to help constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling.
Consult your doctor if you believe your puffy eyes are the result of an allergy, especially if accompanied by eye redness, itching and watering. Your doctor will be able to prescribe or recommend suitable medication.