How to Treat Swollen Eyes In the Morning

Tired Senior Man Looking At Reflection In Bathroom Mirror
A senior man pulls down one of his eyelids as he looks in the bathroom mirror in the morning. (Image: Mark Bowden/iStock/Getty Images)

As the tissues around the eyes weaken as you age, waking up with swollen eyes in the morning may become more common. Although swollen eyes are not typically a medical concern, they can be unattractive and many people look for ways to reduce the puffiness. Many at-home treatments will do the trick under normal circumstances, but you should always consult a doctor if your eye swelling is particularly severe or persistent.

Step 1

Apply a cool compress or cold, wet washcloth to the eyes for approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Remain sitting upright as you do this and use mild pressure, suggests MayoClinic.com.

Step 2

Take allergy medication if your swollen eyes are caused by allergies. Try an over-the-counter antihistamine medication first, but if that doesn’t work, ask your doctor if a prescription allergy medication would prove useful.

Step 3

Remain upright. Keeping your head up may help the fluid pooling under your eyes to dissipate, which then may reduce the puffiness.

Step 4

Avoid excessively rubbing or touching the area around your eyes. Doing so may contribute to the swelling and create dark circles, according to Dr. Gary Goldfaden in the March 2005 issue of "Life Extension Magazine."

Step 5

Get some more sleep. If you had less than seven to eight hours of sleep, sleeping may help reduce the swelling. Keep your head slightly elevated while sleeping to prevent fluid from pooling under your eyes.

Things You'll Need

  • Allergy medication (optional)

  • Cold compress

Tip

Although no scientific studies support or refute the use of cucumbers or limiting salt intake to reduce eye swelling, it may be worth a try to see if these approaches work for you.

Warning

If you experience significant swelling around the eyes that does not improve or if you notice fluid retention in other areas of your body, contact your doctor as soon as possible. This may be a sign of a serious medical problem, such as kidney or liver disease, warns the Aetna InteliHealth website.

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