So, what are puffy eyes? It’s swelling around the eyes that you usually see after crying. Think of them as swollen eye bags or lids. More importantly, they’re not to be confused with “swollen eyes,” which are often a result of allergies, injuries or infections.
Puffy eyes mean there’s an accumulation of liquids in the surrounding tissue, also known as edema. It's no secret that the skin on your lids and under your eyes is thinner than the rest of your face (your whole body, in fact). That’s why it’s really obvious when your eyes are puffed up.
We wrote this article to help you understand the causes and the different treatments. And one easy way is to use eye masks for puffy eyes. But more on that later. First, let’s talk about the different factors that lead to this condition.
Puffy Eyes: Causes & Treatment
There are a couple of reasons for puffy eyes, and we’ll start with the most common of them all.
If you recently had a sob fest nothing is more telling than a pair of puffy eyes. To break it down, let’s examine where tears come from.
When we blink, each eye secretes a protective layer of antibacterial liquid through its lacrimal gland. These glands are also responsible for producing tears. And when we cry, our tears drain through ducts in the inner corners of our eyes.
There are three types of tears: basal, reflex and emotional. But what’s most relevant to puffy eyes are the emotional tears. They’re usually much more in volume than your lacrimal glands are used to producing.
This leads to your tear ducts working overtime to drain tears. According to Medical News Today, this results in an inflammation of the glands and swelling in the surrounding tissue(1). Thus, puffy eyes.
If your eyes are puffy from crying, try applying a cool compress to your eyes for about 10 minutes. This will help drain the fluid and reduce inflammation. Hint: this is what the best eye masks for puffy eyes do.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that a compress made from tea bags (green or black tea, if you please) helps reduce puffiness by constricting blood vessels, according to Healthline(2).
The next factor is sleep. Waking up to puffy eyes looking at you from the mirror is nothing new. The question here is why. It’s simple. When we sleep, we don’t blink. Also, lack of sleep can result in puffy eyes.
Lack of movement typically results in swelling. Think about your legs. We need to get up and move around once in a while. Otherwise, fluid builds up and causes swelling. It’s the same with blinking and your eyes.
If no other factors are causing your puffy eyes, then the puffiness will recede when you get up and start blinking normally. And if you aren’t getting enough sleep, you know what to do.
To reduce the swelling and refresh the skin in the eye area try eye masks for puffy eyes.
There are many reasons doctors say you need to drink enough water a day. And your puffy eyes are two of them.
When you’re dehydrated, your body starts storing water as a reaction, which leads to fluid retention. This causes the tissue around your eyes to swell.
Boozing also causes puffy eyes because alcohol dehydrates your system.
Stick to the age-old regimen of drinking eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily. And if you’re tempted to have a drink so you fall asleep easier, try a glass of water instead.
First, alcohol causes frequent awakenings, which means your sleep is anything but restorative. As for the obvious, water helps prevent puffy eyes.
A natural part of aging
As you get older, the tissue in your eyelids weakens. Your skin may sag and the fat in your lids may move downwards. Also, Women’s Health says the fat underneath the eyes supporting the eyeballs may protrude more. This is caused by the muscles in that area detaching with age(3).
And it also has to do with genetics. If under-eye bags are common in your family, then you can expect your under-eye puffiness to be more pronounced with age.
Cosmetic surgery is an option considered by some when advised by their doctor. However, eye puffiness due to aging is natural and nothing to worry about.
Too much salt in your diet
Yet another reason to pass on the salt is puffy eyes. Your body reacts to sodium by retaining water, which affects everything including the skin around your eyes.
Come to think of it, too much salt in your diet isn’t healthy. It can leave you open to a greater risk of heart disease, among others.
This is something you need to discuss with your health provider. Because making the right food choices is key. Think twice about going overboard on processed foods like deli meats (tough, we know). Up your intake of fruits and vegetables, too.
Believe it or not, eye strain can cause puffy eyes. Staring at your laptop screen day in and out isn’t healthy on so many levels.
Remember what causes puffiness when you sleep? Well, when you stare at your screen the whole day, you don’t blink as much, either. This can lead to puffiness and eye fatigue.
Don’t forget to blink. There’s such a thing called the 20-20-20 rule, according to Healthline. Set a timer and every 20 minutes, look away from your computer and stare at something 20 feet away. Keep on looking at it for 20 seconds(4).
Make sure you’re at the proper distance from your computer screen and you’ve got the right amount of light to work by.
Ease the discomfort of eyestrain and reduce the swelling with eye masks for puffy eyes.
Surprised? Don’t be. If the skin around your eyes is puffy, it could be a sign of a sinus infection. Your sinuses are located close to your eyes. CT Sinus Center says if there’s a blockage in your nasal passages, it could also lead to fluid retention by the surrounding tissue(5).
Now just because your eyes are puffy, it doesn’t automatically mean you have a sinus infection. A bad headache, thick yellow or green mucus, reduced sense of smell and taste and difficulty breathing comes with the territory.
First things first, consult your doctor. A sinus infection isn’t to be taken lightly. Any home remedy only serves to ease the symptoms but doesn’t address the root of the problem.
For quick and temporary relief, use cooling eye masks for puffy eyes. The cold will numb the pain and reduce the inflammation. Alternate it with a warming eye mask, which will loosen mucus and soothe the nasal passages.
What are the best eye masks for puffy eyes?
We’ve given enough hints in this article for you to know what the best eye masks for puffy eyes do. A cooling eye mask is an easy and effective way to deal with puffiness. And it sure beats a DIY cold compress made from real ice.
A cooling eye mask acts like a cold compress for the eyes. The cold lessens inflammation while refreshing the skin around the eye area. All you need to do is freeze it or give it a shake to trigger the cooling process.
Choose one with a bit of weight to get a gentle massage on pressure points, especially if you’re experiencing sinus pain.
Another feature to look out for is how long the mask stays cool. It’s important to note that applying too much cold for a long time can result in nerve and tissue damage. Twenty minutes is the maximum, so keeping usage below this is important.
Cooling eye masks for puffy eyes are best when they completely cover your eyes. Many masks have cutouts in the eye area. And as you know, light prevents you from falling into a truly restorative nap. Ergo, a cooling sleep mask versus an average eye mask is the better choice.
Here’s a quick summary of what to look for in a cooling sleep mask:
It’s easy to use — just cool it in a freezer
Has a weighted component for cool compression therapy
Stays cool for less than 20 minutes
Completely covers the eyes to block out most light
Rest goes with almost every treatment plan for any ailment out there. So keep this in mind when you’re on the hunt for eye masks for puffy eyes.
Yes, a cooling sleep mask helps with puffy eyes caused by some of the factors we mentioned earlier. But it isn’t a cure or a replacement. If you are undergoing any form of treatment, always ask your doctor before using a cooling eye mask.
Use This Cooling Eye Mask for Puffy Eyes
Allow us to help you in your search for the best cooling eye mask for puffy eyes. Why not consider Manta COOL Mask?
Manta COOL Mask provides relief not just for puffy eyes, but also for eye itchiness and swelling due to allergies, migraines and sinus pain. When used according to doctor’s orders, it also helps with certain eye issues like dry eye, styes and pinkeye. Read our article on cooling eye mask benefits for more information.
The head strap and detachable eye cups are swappable. This means the strap can be used with any of our eye cups and vice-versa with one exception. The COOL Eye Cups can’t be paired with our WEIGHTED Head Strap. Sleeping with their combined weight isn’t advised.
You get a personalized fit.
Both the head strap and eye cups are infinitely adjustable.
Adjust the head strap to accommodate your unique head sizing. It secures firmly around your head with a micro hook and loop closure that won’t snag your hair.
Position the eye cups anywhere within the interior of the head strap, so they cover your eyes completely. Each cup is backed with Velcro that adheres to the head strap.
Near-blackout eye cups provide cold compression therapy.
Manta COOL Mask’s eye cups are filled with cooling beads that are gentler on the eyes than gel.
The eye cups are made from soft, moldable materials with a combined weight of 0.67 lbs. Each has an indentation in its center to give you eye-pressure-free compression. Their construction ensures evenly-distributed weight and near-blackout. So you can nap tight no matter the time of day.
The COOL Eye Cups come with a reusable freezer bag for storage and to keep them free from bacteria and odors. Simply pop them in, seal and store them in the freezer for convenience. The eye cups are good to go after 1 hour in the freezer. They stay cool for the doctor-recommended 10 minutes.
We hope this article gave you the information you’re looking for. Puffy eyes are usually nothing to worry about. But if they last longer and are accompanied by pain or secretions, call your health provider. They may be symptoms of something else.
Are you ready for cold compression therapy? If so, let us know how your experience goes by leaving a comment below.
(1) “What to know about swollen, puffy eyes.” Healthline, www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/swollen-eyes-from-crying. Accessed 28 October 2022.
(2) “10 Ways to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes.” Healthline, www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/how-to-get-rid-of-puffy-eyes. Accessed 28 October 2022.
(3) “11 Reasons You Have Puffy Eyes—And What To Do About Them, According To Dermatologists.” Women’s Health, www.womenshealthmag.com/health/a19899435/puffy-eyes-causes/. Accessed 1 November 2022.
(4) “8 Tips to Prevent Eyestrain.” Healthline, www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/eye-strain. Accessed 2 November 2022.
(5) “The Sinusitis Behind Puffy Eyes.” CT Sinus Center, ctsinuscenter.com/sinusitis-behind-puffy-eyes/. Accessed 2 November 2022.
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