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Are Bags Under Your Eyes Harmless or a Sign of a Possible Health Issue?

By: Janine Sanborn

Definition: Every individual has experienced bags under their eyes. When this happens, the individual may experience mild swelling or puffiness under their eyes. This increases with age. The tissues around the eyes as well as some of the muscles that support the eyelids weaken. The fat that usually supports the eyes move into the lower eyelids and fluid may move into the space below the eyes. Having bags under the eyes do not lead up to a medical condition.

The symptoms that may be experienced are swelling, loose skin and dark circles. It is important to see a doctor if it is persistent and become red, painful or itchy. It may also affect other parts of the body such as the legs.

Besides the tissues and muscles weakening, there are other causes. Causes may include heredity, allergies, not getting enough sleep, salty foods, or fluid retention due to the weather.

If it is an allergy, taking over-the-counter or prescription medications may help reduce the swelling. There are also wrinkle treatments that help decrease puffiness under the eyes. Patients have the option to get eyelid surgery which will remove bags under the eyes.

Tips for home remedies are:

  • Using a cool compress: Use a wet washcloth with cool water, and place it under the eyes with mild pressure.
  • Getting enough sleep: 7-8 hours is the average amount an adult should get.
  • Sleeping with head slightly raised: This helps prevent fluids from gathering around the eyes while you are sleeping.
  • Reduce allergy symptoms: Take over-the-counter or prescription allergy medication. You may want to talk to a doctor about having allergic reactions to hair dyes, soap, cosmetics or other allergens.
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