5 min

Get rid of bagsunder your eyes

Why do you get bags under your eyes?

As we age, the skin around our eyes loses collagen and elasticity. This is particularly visible in the area between the tissues and muscles that support our eyelids - where the skin is very thin and delicate. A pouch of fluid (or orbital fat) can accumulate in the space under your eyes, making them swell. This puffiness tends to be more pronounced in the morning, as the pouches have had all night to settle and expand.

Bags under your eyes shouldn't be confused with dark circles. These are blue-like rings caused by tiny blood vessels bursting. Dark circles under eyes are often accompanied by eye bags.

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WHAT ELSE GIVES YOU BAGS?

Besides the effects of ageing, the following may cause bags under your eyes:

  1. Poor nutrition
  2. Stress
  3. Lack of sleep
  4. Smoking
  5. Allergies - pollen, makeup, contact lens solutions
  6. Tight-fitting glasses that pull against the skin under your eyes
  7. Genetics
Online Eye Test
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“As we age, the skin around our eyes loses collagen and elasticity….A pouch of fluid can accumulate in the space under your eyes, making them swell.”

ALEX IONIDES, CONSULTANT OPHTHALMIC SURGEON AT MOORFIELDS EYE HOSPITAL, CO-FOUNDER AT MTHK.

What can help
  • Ideally aim for 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Propping up your head slightly will also help reduce 'liquid' accumulating under your eyes.
  • Try to limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol causes your body to dehydrate, which in turn causes your organs (which includes your skin) to 'fight back' by retaining water.
  • After boiling tea bags in hot water, let them cool down in the fridge, then gently place them over your closed eyes. The caffeine's antioxidant properties will help boost blood circulation around your eyes.
  • When your eyes are dry, cucumbers help hydrate them - reducing dryness and redness. You can also use potatoes slices.
  • Put some (clean) spoons in the fridge overnight or for half an hour in a freezer. Gently massage the back of the spoon over and around your eyes for about 10-15 minutes . The spoons will help drain fluid that's pooling under your eyes, and minimise any puffiness.
  • Use an effective (ideally, preservative-free) eye spray or drops to keep your eyes well moisturised. The majority of patients with dry eye have chronic inflammation (swelling) in the tear glands (lacrimal glands) that line the eyelid and in the conjunctiva (the thin lining on the inside of the eyelids and the front part of the eye).
  • Assuming you have no medical restrictions, aim to drink about 2 litres of water, every day.
  • Eat a balanced diet that contains foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Fresh fish, nuts, seeds, etc.
  • Smoking has been shown weaken the skin under your eyes.
  • The skin around our eyes is very thin and fragile. Adding a high-quality cream to your daily routine will help hydrate, nourish and protect the area.
  • Try some eye exercises. Scroll down for a list of some helpful exercises.
  • “Bags under your eyes shouldn’t be confused with dark circles. These blue-like rings are caused by tiny blood vessels bursting under your eyes.”

    ALEX IONIDES, CONSULTANT OPHTHALMIC SURGEON AT MOORFIELDS EYE HOSPITAL, CO-FOUNDER AT MTHK.

    Exercises to relax your eyes
  • When we’re looking at screens, our blinking is incomplete and less frequent, which could lead to dry eyes. Avoid eye strain by blinking consciously, keeping your eyes closed for half a second before reopening. Repeat this about 20 times and you’ll notice that your eyes start feeling fresher as they rebuild their natural hydration.
  • Sit with your back straight and, without moving your head, slowly and purposefully roll your eyes in a clockwise direction, starting with the left, then to the ceiling, then to the right and finally look at the floor. Repeat this 10 times. And then reverse the roll (i.e. counterclockwise). This exercise will help with eye fatigue.
  • Looking away from your computer screen every 20 minutes at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds helps to reduce strain and fatigue on your eye muscles. This is known as the 20-20-20 rule.
  • You’ll need to use a screen (or a picture) for this exercise. Place the screen (tablet or computer) in front of you. Without taking your eyes off the, try to locate and touch all the objects around you (a glass of water, notebook, stationery etc.). Then, interact with the screen without losing sight of objects in your peripheral vision.
  • A gentle massage is a really effective way of relaxing your eyes after long periods of screen time. Put on some relaxing music , dim the lights and close your eyes. Gently use your fingertips to press your closed eyelids in a circular motion for about 10-15 seconds. Repeat the exercise 5 times or more. This massage should be done without contact lenses or makeup on.
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