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What Are the Causes of Under Eye Puffiness With Redness?

author image Linda Ray
Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."
What Are the Causes of Under Eye Puffiness With Redness?
Crying can make your eyes red and puffy. Photo Credit boy crying image by Maria Bell from <a href="http://www.fotolia.com">Fotolia.com</a>

Puffy red eyes are caused by any number of issues, ranging from too little sleep to too much crying. Allergies, excessive salt consumption or a variety of medical conditions can cause the unsightly bumps under the eyes that make you look older. When common home remedies like cold compresses and cucumber slices don't alleviate the red puffiness under your eyes, you should consult a physician to make sure you don't have a more serious inflammatory disease that could lead to complications.

Fluid Retention

Most women are familiar with fluid retention, a phenomenon that occurs most every month during the menstrual cycle. Fluctuating hormones, whether as a result of menses or menopause, can cause red puffy eyes, especially upon waking in the morning. Pregnant women whose hormones are in a constant state of flux often experience puffy eyes for no apparent reason. Fluid retention, also called edema, also is common to many people sensitive to salt intake. Salt makes the body retain water and appear bloated in sensitive skin areas like those around the eyes.


In addition to swelling and redness, when patients come in contact with an allergen, the eyes also may become watery and itchy. Eye allergies are most common around pet dander, dust and pollen. According to Eye Doctor Guide, nearly 20 percent of the population suffers from some level of eye allergies that cause puffiness and redness. Seasonal allergies strike primarily when trees and grass begin to grow in the spring, while perennial allergies can be persistent all year from animals and dust.

Insect Bites

Oftentimes, you can get bitten by an insect and not realize it until your eye begins to swell and becomes red and itchy. If you are not allergic to insect bites, the puffiness usually abates within a day or two. Redness and puffiness from an insect bite should be monitored and watched for infection, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. If a stinger is present, it should be removed. If the puffiness does not go away within three days, you should seek medical help. See a doctor if the redness and puffiness is accompanied by shortness of breath, nausea, vomiting, fainting or swelling on other areas of the face.


The emotional stress usually present when you cry causes blood to rush to your eyes, leaving them puffy and red. The eyes become strained after prolonged crying and become puffy from the exertion. Rubbing and dabbing at the sensitive skin around the eyes also causes irritation, leading to additional puffiness and discoloration.

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