What are the Causes for Puffy Itchy Under Eyes?

Puffy eyes? Is it something common we undergo every now and then? Yes. It happens very often. Almost everyone, at some point of time would have noticed the swollen eyes, i.e. the under eye bags soon after they wakeup. Swelling of the eyes is caused by accumulation of fluid around or under the connective tissues of the eyes. There are many causes to puffy itchy under eyes. The most common cause includes trauma, infections and allergies.

In general, poor diet, poor sleep and poor nutrition account for the major cause of puffy eyes. Similarly, exposure to any foreign object, say dust mite may cause itchiness which makes the eyes puffy.


Lack of quality sleep or working for a few hours extra may also cause under eye bags. The under eye bags even appear on those who sleep for 8 hours a day, (which indicates they need more sleep). In most cases, the puffiness of under eyes subsides itself. However, when it accompanies moderate to severe itchiness and doesn’t improve over a few days, it may be a symptom of an underlying medical condition.

Causes of Puffy Itchy Under Eyes- Three Broad Categories

The causes of puffy itchy under eyes can be classified based on three categories.

  1. Health and Lifestyle
  2. Medical Conditions
  3. Inappropriate use of Cosmetics

Health and Lifestyle – Major Causes for Puffy Itchy Under Eyes

Poor Sleep and Eye Strain

The most common cause of puffy itchy under eyes is poor sleep. In fact, all types of sleeping disorders- oversleeping, poor sleep or interrupted sleep patterns cause puffy eyes.

Not everyone who lacks sound sleep may find the eyes itching along with puffiness. Those who expose too much before the blue screens develop eye irritation. For instance, sitting before computer for hours without any break; gazing the mobile phones incessantly just to kill time; watching television even if your eyes shed water and irritates you a lot! These habits add a lot of pressure to the eyes. These reasons accompanied by poor sleep develop itchy as well puffy under eyes. Besides, your eyes may also turn red that apparently indicates you are sleep deprived.

Excessive eye pressure may also result with bleeding eyes. However, your eyes bleed inside the skin and it forms under eye bags due to retention of fluid. If left unattended, this may lead to serious issues like blood clotting etc.

The Remedy: Get enough sleep and give your eyes break from looking at blue rays of all screens.

Contact Lenses

Poor choice or inappropriate use of contact lens may cause you puffy itchy under eyes. Contact lens is a tiny piece of comfort. Yet, there are many instances you may go wrong with contact lens. Following attributes to how you develop swollen eyes with itchiness.

  • When you choose the wrong size lens that fits poorly on your eyes
  • People with dry eyes often find the contact lens irritating and swell up their eyes
  • Not removing the lens everyday or poor care
  • When a foreign object stick to the lens and you don’t clean it properly before wearing it
  • Not changing the lens often

The Remedy: Buy a lens that fits your eyes perfectly. Take extra care of lens while wearing them and storing them when not in use. Don’t let your eyes become dry.

Fluid Retention

If you are prone to water retention, you obviously develop swollen eyes. Fluid retention is itself a sign of many health conditions. Fluid retention generally reflects on your face and eyes. Women may retain a lot of fluids in and around the subcutaneous tissues during pregnancy, menstrual cycle, hormonal fluctuations, etc. Smoking and alcohol are to major reasons that you could swell up your eyes as a result of fluid retention.

The Remedy: Get a check up for eliminating the medical conditions that might lead to fluid retention. Once found out, treat the causes of fluid retention to get rid of puffy eyes bags too.

Salty Foods

Consuming salty foods has no direct impact on creating itchy puffy eyes. Rather, it accumulates a lot of fluids, lead to fluid retention. Remember the most amount of sodium intake comes majorly in from processed foods.

Besides, not drinking enough water also causes water retention, which in turn leads to inflammation of the under eyes.

The Remedy: Reduce consumption of salt and salty processed foods. drink enough water to prevent fluid retention and puffy eyes.

Sleep Medications

If your lifestyle forces you to depend upon the sleeping pills, its time you change your this habit. You may fall victim of developing sore swollen eyes with redness and itchiness if you take sleep pills very often.

The Remedy: Stop using sleeping pills and adopt Ways to Sleep Better without Sleeping Pills

Poor Habits

When you scrap or scratch your eyes constantly, you put a lot of pressure on the delicate skin and tiny blood vessels of the eyes. This irritates the skin there leading to itchiness and then allergy and finally puffy eyes.

The Remedy: Keep your hands and fingers away from your face and skin around your eyes. Don’t touch your skin frequently.

Sinus or Nasal Congestion

When you have a block in the nasal path way, the mucus lodged inside your sinus and nasal cavity leads to inflammation of the face. It creates bags under eyes.

The Remedy: Treat the cause behind your sinus and nasal congestion as soon as possible. Prolonged nasal congestion can lead to permanent eye bags.

Eye Related Medical Conditions Cause Puffy Itchy Under Eyes

Beyond the sleep and poor diet, under eye puffiness is often a signal of an eye related ailments. Following are the few conditions associated with puffy itchy under eyes.


People who are prone to allergies often find themselves in a mirror with swollen eyes. For instance, if you catch cold or nasal congestion even when there is a moderate change in the climate you pose the risk of allergy. Similarly, if you get cold and cough after exposure to dust or after you clean the house, you are at a risk of developing some allergy leading to itchy puffy under eyes.

Allergies generally affect the eyes. One in five individuals is prone to develop eye allergies. Allergy can be caused due to,

  • Exposure to foreign objects – Perfumes, chemicals, smoking, etc.
  • Exposure to allergens – dust mites, pollens, animal or bird feathers, etc.
  • Sensitivity to light – Flash lights, difficulty in night driving, and sunlight

Just like any type of allergy, eye allergies are an outcome of the glitch in the immunity. Eye allergy is majorly caused when the conjunctiva of the eyes (a thin membrane that covers the white part of the eyes) come in contact with any object. The object may be or may not be a threat.  However, our immune system mistakes it as threat to the vision and decides to fight it off. It generates antibodies that release histamine. Histamine causes inflammation of the eyes and makes the eyes itchy, watery and red. Eye allergy may also develop due to nasal allergy or any blockage in the nasal path.

In addition, exposure to foreign objects or allergens may also obstruct the oil gland of the eyes. This gland has the responsibility to remove the tears off the eyes. When the gland is blocked, tears accumulate under eyes giving you puffy eyebags.

Allergies that might cause inflamed under eyes generally pose no threat. Mild allergies result with red and itchy eyes with blurred vision. However, it is temporary and will ease away in a few hours.

Food allergy may cause itchy and baggy eyes, especially if you are allergic to sea foods and nuts, you may develop huge under eye bags.

The Remedy: Find out if you are prone to allergies. If yes, identify the allergens and avoid them. Also take steps to build your immunity stronger so that you do not catch allergies easily. Here’s a detailed view on puffy itchy eyes allergies- what to do?

Eye Infection

Infection is yet another common cause that causes itchy and swollen eyes. It can be due to viral or bacterial infection. An example of viral infection of the eyes is pink eye syndrome, which is briefed below.

Dysfunction of the tear ducts

Tear ducts are tiny tubes that drain the tears from the eyes. When the tubes fail to open or get blocked, the fluid accumulate under the eyes. Tear ducts may get damaged due to injury or infection. It gradually becomes itchy, inflamed and lead to chronic infection.


Although blepharitis is a condition that swell the eye lids, the irritation of the eyes gradually affect the lower lids too! It is a condition characterized by clogged eyelashes. There are surgical treatment options for puffy itchy under eyes caused by such medical issues.

Conjunctivitis  aka Pink Eye

A viral infection of the eyes often outcomes as puffy itchy and red eyes. It affects the conjunctiva. Conjunctiva is the thin membrane that covers the white part of the eyes and the inner eye lids.  More commonly known as pink eyes, it refers to inflammation of the conjunctiva.  When inflamed, it turns the white part red or pink causing severe itchiness.

Nephrotic syndrome

Don’t confuse nephrotic syndrome with nephritic syndrome. Low of protein in blood, high level of protein in urine and water retention cause this syndrome. The major sign of nephrotic syndrome is under eye bags. This condition causes inflammation of the inner eye socket.


Bacterial infection of the eyelids causes inflammation of the skin around the eyes.

The Remedy: Visit an ophthalmologist and get your eyes treated.

Other Medical Causes of Puffy Itchy Under Eyes

Other medical reasons associated with itchy puffy eyes include the following conditions:

Facial Fracture (A serious condition)

This may not be a familiar health condition that exhibits through puffy eyes.  Even a minor crack that is not visible to the naked eye indicates through swollen eyes. It may be a minor fracture in the skull or facial fracture in any part of the face. The damaged bone in the face reduces eye movement and gradually accumulates fluids under the eye. Besides, when it comes to jaw fracture, you get bruises on your cheeks and eyes.  When the fracture is apparent you can easily fix it with proper medication. However, it might be a silent killer. Watch out whether the puffiness increases over time.

Black Eye

It is a common eye condition that apparently makes your eyes itchy and swollen. In fact the swollen itchy bags indicate that your skin bleeds inside. It could be even due to a crack in the skull! When someone hit you on your face (accidentally or purposely) it injures your delicate skin and facial muscles. Further, instantly it causes inflammation as the blood circulation is blocked. The blood turns black or dark red under the eyes.


This is one of the auto-immune conditions that make your life terrible!  Regardless of how much you sleep every day, you will always feel tired with irritated eyes. When you have baggy double chin that almost hides your neck and puffy face how come you can save your eyes? It apparently makes your face swollen with baggy eyes.

Dermatitis – Inflammation of the skin

Eye puffiness is directly or indirectly linked with certain types of disorders of the skin. Also termed as Eczema, it is indicated by inflammation of the skin caused by malfunction of immune system. The skin around the eyes easily gets inflamed with redness and itchiness.

The Remedy: Visit physician, get yourself checked to rule out any of the above medical conditions. If present, get them treated. If not, try finding out other remedies for puffy itchy under eyes.

Cosmetics also Cause Puffy Itchy Under Eyes

Beyond the underlying medical conditions, inappropriate use of cosmetic products and procedures also result with swollen eyes with mild to severe itchiness under them.

Eye makeup products

There is a plenty of eye cosmetics many women use every day. From Kohl to mascara, you can transform your appearance with dramatic eye makeup. However, eye makeup poses you serious threats and may affect your vision. For instance, eye liner may irritate your eyes and results with instant itchiness. You will shed tears and gradually your eyes get inflamed.

The Remedy: You should be very careful in applying loose powder and eye cosmetics. Always choose the high quality ones that suit your skin type. In fact, the right cosmetic products applied in the right manner can hide your puffy eye bags temporarily. So, if you need to attend an important party, know How to Hide Puffiness Under Eyes with Makeup

Eye Lash Extensions

Dense and curly lashes look beautiful! Unfortunately, not everyone is blessed with beautiful lashes naturally. When you go for eye lash extensions or artificial lashes, you may not know how it will affect your eyes. Wearing fake lashes for more than 3 or 4 hours a day (or too often) affects the delicate skin and tear glands.

The Remedy: Consider taking eye lash extension precautions, wear and use them safely.


One of the unavoidable side effects of botox is swelling of the eyes. It is also very painful and your eyes turn red. These indications last for a few days to few weeks.

The Remedy: Find out and follow tips on how to manage itchy puffy eyes after botox.

Do you know, eyes will turn itchy and swell after you cry!

Crying is good! It helps you pour out your emotions and you feel de-stressed. Besides, crying makes your eyes healthy. The components of the tears you shed is essential to cleanse your eyes. Lacrimal glands aka tear glands lubricate and protect your eyes.

However, your eyes will be swollen and you may find some kind of irritation when you cry a lot, due to the tears called emotional tears.

Due to raging emotion, the tear glands produce excessive tears. As a result of strong emotional conflict, you tear incessantly. The overflow of water from the eyes is absorbed by the small tissues surrounding the eyes. Besides, when you feel the urge to cry, the nervous system increases the blood flow to face. It further aggravates the swelling. A sudden rush of blood flow irritates the delicate the eyes.  It makes your eye puffy and itchy. However, it is temporary.

The Remedy: If it’s for de-stressing, you must cry. However, don’t make it a habit to cry often, just at the drop of the hat. Make yourself emotionally stable so that you don’t need to cry over petty things. Be happy most of the time.

In fact, this is the mantra to be beautiful forever, be happy. When you are happy, everything positive happens inside your body and system. Your immunity also becomes stronger, and thus you don’t get allergies and infections that are one of the major causes of puffy itchy under eyes.

Leave a Reply