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What Are the Causes of Fluid Under the Eye?

author image Judy Bruen
Judy Bruen is a private certified personal trainer and wellness coach. She holds dual master's degrees from Boston College in clinical social work and pastoral ministry. She currently works with individuals on fitness, health and lifestyle goals.
What Are the Causes of Fluid Under the Eye?
Fluid under the eyes causes swelling.

Fluid under the eyes causes puffiness and swelling. Although genetic factors and aging render some more susceptible to fluid retention than others, certain style factors and health conditions influence fluid accumulation under the eyes. The thin skin underneath the eyelids is susceptible to fluid retention and swelling.

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Excess Sodium

Sodium helps regulate the amount of fluid in your body. Your kidneys balance sodium level; when your sodium level surpasses your kidney's capability to process or store it, excess sodium builds up in the blood. Excess sodium attracts and absorbs water, causing bloating and fluid retention throughout the body--including under the eyes. The American Heart Association recommends consuming no more than 2400mg sodium daily.

A Flat Sleep Position

Sleeping in a flat position or on your back may make it difficult for your nasal cavities to drain excess fluid or mucus buildup. Placing pillows underneath your head and elevating your head may reduce fluid retention under the eyes.

Hot Weather

Your body doesn't remove excess fluids from the skin and tissues as well during hot weather as it does in moderate climates, according to Better Health Channel, a resource of the state government of Victoria. Prevent weather-related fluid retention under the eyes by drinking water and removing yourself from the heat.

Hormonal Fluctuations

Fluid retention is a symptom of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS. Hormonal fluctuations involving progesterone and estrogen contribute to fluid retention during this period. Fluid accumulation may present itself under the eyes. Hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy also contribute to fluid retention in the same area. Limiting sodium intake, performing regular exercise and eating a diet rich in whole grains, lean sources of protein and fruits and vegetables many counter some of the fluid retention experienced during PMS.

Sinus Infection

Healthy sinus cavities, located below the eyes, filter air and bacteria. The air cavities contain mucous membranes and cilia, both responsible for draining mucus and circulating air within the sinuses. Bacterial buildup in the sinuses leads to infection and prevents proper mucus and fluid drainage. The retention may cause puffiness and swelling under the eyes.

Side Effects of Medication

Side of effects of hormone replacement therapy and corticosteroids include water retention, which may occur under the eyes, as well as throughout the rest of your body. Hormone replacement therapy involves medications that supplement postmenopausal women with hormones their body no longer produces. Corticosteroids treat different medical conditions, including lupus, asthma and arthritis.

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