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Tips to Reduce Bags Under Eyes

By Sandra Ketcham ; Updated July 18, 2017

Bags under the eyes are typically most noticeable when you wake up in the morning, but the swelling and dark under-eye circles associated with this condition may persist throughout the day. While these bags are usually of no medical significance, they can make a person appear old and tired and are of cosmetic concern to many people. Fortunately, many cases of puffy eyes improve after the underlying cause is corrected.

Treatment of Nasal Congestion

Nasal congestion associated with sinusitis, allergies and upper respiratory infections is a common cause of eye bags. Congestion and fluid retention causes the area around the eyes to swell. Congestion also dilates the blood vessels beneath the eyes, causing dark circles to develop that make puffy eyes more noticeable. Treatment of bags under the eyes caused by nasal congestion involves the use of antihistamines and decongestants, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center website. Chronic congestion or sinusitis may respond to antibiotics and corticosteroid nasal sprays. The National Institutes of Health recommends increasing environmental humidity and drinking extra fluids to decrease nasal congestion.

Surgical Options

Surgical options for eye bags include eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, and injectable fillers. Blepharoplasty involves the removal of excess fat and skin in the lower and upper eyelids to reduce puffiness. This is an expensive, but permanent, solution to chronic eye bags that are not related to congestion or lifestyle. Injectable fillers are beneficial when dark circles and hollows beneath the eyes give the appearance of upper eyelid puffiness. However, fillers used in cases of lower lid puffiness may increase the size of bags and make puffiness more noticeable.

Nighttime Habits

Get more sleep, avoid alcohol and caffeine before bed to improve sleep quality, and elevate your head during sleep to encourage the sinuses to drain and prevent the pooling of fluid around the eyes.

Other Remedies

An application of cold compresses to the eyes for 10 to 20 minutes can reduce swelling and improve eye puffiness. Because dark circles can increase the appearance of eye bags, avoid sun exposure to prevent production of more melanin under the eyes. Drinking extra fluids, taking anti-inflammatory medications, and applying topical hemorrhoid cream to puffiness below the eyes may also help, according to the website.

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