One day you are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, enjoying life and looking fresh as a daisy. The next day, you awake to eyes that are red, swollen, and puffy. This is no cause for alarm, and certainly nothing to cry about. In fact, crying is the last thing you should do, for it will only make your eyes more swollen. To really treat — or prevent — swollen eyes, you need to know what's causing them. Often, washing the face with cool water, using a cold compress, eating a healthy diet, and getting plenty of rest can help relieve them.
Swollen eyes can be brought on by a host of causes. Stress, hormonal changes, crying, insomnia, and imbibing in a bit too much alcohol can all be contributing factors. A diet high in salt, or drinking too much water at bedtime, can result in fluid retention. Even factors as simple as irritating contact lenses or a speck of migrant dust can cause eyes to appear puffy and swollen.
Puffy, red eyes could be caused by allergic conjunctivitis. This is another name for simple hay fever, and it is usually brought on by an allergy, infection, a sluggish immune system, or general irritation. Eye drops containing antihistamines will normally cure allergic conjunctivitis in short order, but don’t be use them too often, or you may make the problem worse.
In the vast majority of cases, the best way to care for swollen eyes is to rely on tried and true home remedies. Washing your face with cool water will often remove the irritant that is causing the swelling, and your eyes will return to normal within a few hours. A cold compress placed over closed eyes can reduce inflammation, whereas a warm compress will help relieve any minor pain or discomfort. Topical creams containing vitamin E or aloe vera extract may prove beneficial as well.
In almost every instance, given a bit of time and a bit of rest, puffy eyes will take care of themselves. If you are sensitive to the various airborne allergens especially prevalent during the spring months, it might be wise to try and stay indoors on days with an excessively high pollen count. One of the best recommendations is to get plenty of sleep, as burning the candle at both ends is a near certain invitation to tired eyes.
In a few rare cases, swollen eyes can be a symptom of something more serious. If your eyes are burning, if you are dizzy, or if swelling persists or worsens, then the time has come to visit a medical professional. This is a very unlikely scenario, but when it comes to your eyes, the best philosophy is one of better safe than sorry.