Puffy eyelids in the morning

Tags:woman age 35-44 lower eyelids puffiness causes

Over the past week or so when I wake up in the morning my left eyelid is always puffy. I remember something like this used to happen to me when I was a child but have no clue about what caused it anymore - except I don't think it was an allergic reaction then, so I wouldn't think it could be one now. Most mornings the swelling tends to go down on its own after a few hours and always responds well if I can put a warm compress over it. But if it isn’t allergies that's causing the puffiness, then what the hey could it be? It really feels like an allergic reaction, except I know that doesn't make any sense. Do you have any theories as to what might be causing my eyes to all of a sudden be puffy every morning when I get out of bed? Consider me all ears.

Magenta

F, 45, California

It is not uncommon for one to develop swelling in your ankles as the day progresses. You then get into bed and go to sleep in a relatively flat position or even worse, lie on your stomach face down. that swelling may then redistribute in your eyes. You then wake up in the morning and you have puffiness, possibly more on one side than another due to the position in which you sleep. You then get up and are now in a vertical position and gravity works to your advantage to help the swelling to dissipate.

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Swollen eyelids can be caused by many etiologies. The only way to know for certain is to consult with a board-certified ophthalmologist or primary care doctor. That being said, there are some common causes that provoke swelling in the eyelids.

As you haven't mentioned any redness or soreness in the left eye, you can most likely rule out pink eye and orbital cellulitis, which are usually accompanied by these symptoms. Some other potential causes may include:

  • Chalazion

A chalazion occurs when the oil glands, or meibomian glands on the rim of the eyelid become clogged. People who have had chalazion before tend to get them again, and sometimes the bumps associated with chalazion can become quite pronounced. Chalazion rarely hurts, and they usually express on their own after a few days. Warm compresses help them to clear more quickly.

  • Cosmetics

Cosmetics can be another source of irritation to a sensitive eye. Certain eyeliners or mascaras may trigger an allergic reaction, causing swelling in the upper or lower eyelid. Avoid wearing eye makeup for several days to see if this makes a difference.

  • Graves' disease

Graves' disease is a hormonal disorder that causes an overactive thyroid gland. The thyroid may sometimes release cells to fight a non-existent infection in the eye, causing swelling or inflammation.

There are a range of conditions and eye disorders that can cause swollen eyelids, many of which present similar symptoms. Puffy lids are a fairly common cosmetic complaint among women, especially as they move into middle-age and beyond.

The skin that surrounds the eye is the thinnest skin on the body, and becomes thinner with sun exposure. Skin elasticity also decreases with age, causing the eyelids to droop and sag. The orbital septum, which acts as a girdle, also weakens as collagen and elastic break down, causing the infraorbital fat pads to move forward and give the eyelids a slightly swollen appearance.

Swollen eyelids may also be caused by an eye infection, or a condition such as Graves' disease. Blepharoplasty may help with addressing your swollen eyelid, however, before considering plastic surgery I would suggest that you first seek medical advice from an experienced eye doctor to determine the cause of the condition.

Eyelid swelling is most commonly caused by eye allergies, viral infections and bacterial infections. There are actually many allergens that provoke allergic responses in the eyes, including cosmetics, pollen, pet dander and dust mites. You didn't mention whether your swollen eye was accompanied by other symptoms, but if you’ve also experienced itching, redness or eye discharge, an allergic reaction could possibly be the cause. Over-the-counter eye drops, or eye drops prescribed by an ophthalmologist, may help alleviate the swelling.

However, the swelling may also be caused by other conditions. Given that you experience the swelling primarily in the morning, water retention from lying for an extended period of time could be responsible. To treat the swollen eyelid, you will need to treat the underlying cause of the water retention.

Blepharitis represents another possible cause. Blepharitis is a common eye condition and can be caused by oily eyelashes, bacteria or skin conditions such as dandruff or acne. Blepharitis can come and go over time, and generally presents as a swollen, red, itchy eyelid. The eye can also feel gritty upon waking in the morning.

I recommend that you consult with an eye care professional to determine the cause of your swollen eyelid and explore appropriate treatment options.

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Puffy eyelids can be due to many things.  It's impossible to diagnose a person based on  description alone.  Best bet is if it does not go away ocndier seeing your primary care doctor to ensure it's not an issue with your electrolytes, thyroid, sinuses, etc.  If it isn't, then you might consider seeking cosmetic improvement from your favorite plastic surgeon.    Be sure to discuss your goals and concerns with your board certified plastic surgeon and consider the pros and the cons. Be certain your surgeon is properly certified. 

Hi Magenta,

This can be related to fluid retention, sleep, and gravity, Yes, gravity, When you lie flat, the fluid in your body is more evenly distributed than after a long day on your feet. That means, your eyes are most likely to be swollen after a long rest. Of course, medical conditions like hypothyroidism can cause this, and some allergic conditions like blepharochalasis. Most likely, this is nothing to fret about. See your doctor for a physical exam and some basic labs, and perhaps a referral to a plastic surgeon who can evaluate your lid function and, if push comes to shove, possibly intervene. I hope this helps!


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