Puffy eyelids are a common problem for women. Hormone levels–in flux during menstruation and pregnancy, as well as times of emotional stress–can cause eyelids to swell. Diseases that affect the heart and kidneys also cause bloating in the eyelids. To treat swollen eyelids, it’s important to determine the cause. In most cases, it’s a harmless condition that clears up on its own. If it’s something more serious, it should be addressed right away.
Fluid retention occurs when the body doesn’t get enough water. Also, the body may not be able to eliminate fluids if salt intake is too high. Kidney disease, heart disease and metabolic disorders affect the body’s ability to retain fluid as well. It can cause swollen and puffy eyes. Women can retain fluid before and after menstruating. Avoiding foods high in sodium can prevent fluid retention.
An article on the University of Mary Washington website, written by Pamela Bond, indicates that black tea bags can reduce swollen eyelids. Black tea contains tannins, a type of plant known for its anti-inflammatory characteristics. Bond suggests activating the healing properties of black tea by dipping the bag in hot water and cooling it in the refrigerator. Apply the bag to puffy eyelids for about 10 minutes.
Puffy eyelids caused by a stye, an inflamed oil gland, may resemble a large pimple or blister and can feel tender and irritated. The National Institutes of Health suggests applying a warm compress to the effected eyelid four times a day until the discomfort goes away. If the stye gets larger or doesn’t clear up, a doctor may prescribe an antibiotic cream. Attempting to squeeze the stye worsens the condition.
Low-Salt, Low-Protein Diet
Eating a diet low in salt and protein could help prolong remission of nephrotic syndrome. This is a chronic kidney disorder that causes swelling–especially around the eyes, feet and hands–and abnormal levels of protein in the urine and blood. A 1996 study published in the American Journal of Kidney Diseases found that certain patients on a structured diet that severely limited protein could prolong being free of the condition that causes eye swelling and other symptoms. Additionally, patients were given an amino acid supplement.
About this Author
Riki Markowitz has spent most of her career working as a research chief at various magazines, including “Redbook,” “Family Circle,” “Stuff” and “Latina.” Her work has also appeared in “Maxim,” “Woman’s Day,” “Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel,” “Lucky” and “The Knot.” Markowitz holds a Bachelor of Arts in literature from Temple University.