Suffering from Puffy Eyes: Allergies, Age & Treatment Relief

January 2, 2019 5:00 pm Leave your thoughts

“Why am I suffering from swollen, puffy eyes?”

This is a frequent question from our patients. We understand it can be frustrating to look tired, sad, or sick even though you’re having an amazing day. Read on to learn more about what causes puffy eyes as well as how to prevent and combat them for good!

It’s common to develop eye puffiness as you age. The tissue around the eye can weaken and sag, which causes fluid to accumulate. However, there may be an underlying situation causing your puffy eyes such as ocular allergies or allergic conjunctivitis. This uncomfortable eye inflammation can occur from both indoor and outdoor allergens.

Allergens vary from person to person and can include adverse reactions to many things, including pollen and ragweed, dander from your pet, and carpeting or fabrics. Eye allergies can be seasonal or ongoing, so it’s important to identify the source(s) that are causing the inflammation, and avoid them if possible.


We know you want relief and there are many treatments for puffy eyes including proactive remedies you can begin right away!


Your skin is your body’s largest organ, so take care of it by eating a nutritious diet. Stay hydrated with plenty of water, maintain a diet rich in essential fatty acids (dark green, leafy vegetables, fish oil, and nuts) and high in protein. Keep away from high sodium foods as they can cause swelling and high blood pressure. Excessive alcohol and caffeine can cause eye swelling as well.

Anti-inflammatory foods can also help decrease overall bloating and puffiness around the eyes. Focus on berries and mushrooms, which are antioxidant-rich, as well as avocados, an amazing superfood packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats. Take time to think about what’s going in and on your body.


Sunglasses aren’t just a fashion statement, they’re a necessity to protect the fragile skin around your eyes. Sunglasses not only prevent the typical squinting and frequent blinking you do when in bright sunlight, they also prevent fine lines and wrinkles that occur around your eyes. Consider choosing oversized or wraparound sunglasses as they cover more of your eye area.

Even if the sun isn’t fully shining, always use sunscreen (even in the winter!). Try our Swan SPF 30 Sunblock with exceptional UV protection, wrinkle-fighting peptides and antioxidants including Green Tea and Lipoic Acid.


The skin around your eyes is thin and delicate. While you may want to rub or scratch your itchy eyes, excessive rubbing can cause damage to your eye area. That rubbing can also cause further swelling and puffiness. Avoid rubbing and instead apply cool compresses to provide relief. Use a gentle cleanser when washing your face to avoid further irritating your eye area.


Unfortunately, the answer is “yes” due to the swelling and stretching of skin when your eyes are irritated. This is why it’s important to get your ocular allergies under control to avoid further wrinkling, fine lines, and sagging.


1. Find an eye doctor knowledgeable in ocular allergies.
2. Identify the source(s) causing the inflammation.
3. Use ocular allergy drops (antihistamine/mast cell stabilizer) that are recommended by your doctor.
4. Use sunscreen.
5. Wear sunglasses (blinking your eyes quickly and frequently to avoid bright sun can potentially cause damage and wrinkles).
6. Limit salt intake.
7. Eat foods rich in protein and fatty acids.
8. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate.
9. Get a good night’s sleep.
10. Inform your cosmetic surgeon about your ocular allergies before having any eye filler treatment or surgery.
11. Gently remove eye makeup and always take makeup off before sleeping.
12. Don’t Rub eyes (eye tissue is very delicate and damages easily).
13. Don‘t Smoke or be in close proximity to secondhand smoke.
14. Don’t Use abrasive face cleansing agents around eyes.
15. Don’t Squint (get those eyes checked!).
16. Don’t Use makeup with harsh chemicals.

Read our blog, “Can Ocular Allergies Cause Under Eye Wrinkles?” for more information on how ocular allergies cause eye wrinkles and what treatments, both invasive and noninvasive can help to diminish the appearance of wrinkles.


It’s important to find a doctor that is well-educated in ocular allergies. After a thorough examination, your doctor may recommend ocular allergy drops (antihistamines/mast cell stabilizers) to help reduce your symptoms.

Drs. Cohen and Swartz are both oculoplastic surgeons. Oculoplastic surgeons (sometimes called oculoplastic cosmetic surgeons), are board certified ophthalmologists who have additional cosmetic surgery training. Because oculoplastic surgeons are trained as eye doctors and cosmetic surgeons, they are specially suited to care for eye issues.

Whether you’re considering non-surgical eye rejuvenation, upper eyelid surgery, lower eyelid surgery, or eye bag surgery to rejuvenate your eye area, the first step is to schedule a consultation with Dr. Cohen or Dr. Swartz. The Drs. will work with you to decide on a treatment plan that fits your unique needs and facial anatomy.

Drs. Cohen and Swartz have three convenient locations – Bala Cynwyd on the Main Line, Voorhees in Southern New Jersey, and Wills Eye Institute/Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia.

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