There are a number of reasons why your eyes may be puffy and red. But if you suspect the problem is food-related, it may be an allergy, which means any food may be the cause of the eye problem. Consult your doctor to help you identify the specific cause of your puffy, red eyes and how best to treat it.
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Common Food Allergens
If your eyes are red and puffy due to a food, it may be one of the eight most common food allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, milk, soy, eggs and wheat. According to Food Allergy Research and Education, these eight foods make up 90 percent of all food allergies. Only a doctor can diagnose a food allergy.
Less Common Allergens
Other foods also known to cause allergies include seeds, chocolate and spices. Raw fruits and vegetables may be a source of pollen, according to a 2013 article published in Today's Dietitian, which may cause a reaction that affects the eye. In fact, any food can cause an allergic reaction, according to Food Allergy Research and Education.
Tips for Identifying the Food
Tracking what you eat and how it affects your health may help you identify the food that may be causing the reaction. While you may only be experiencing red and puffy eyes now, if it's a food allergy, more severe symptoms can occur anytime you eat the food. Once the food is identified, treatment includes complete elimination of the food from your diet, which may require careful shopping and label reading, as well as caution when eating out.
Salt and Puffy Eyes
Although less likely to cause eye redness, getting too much sodium in your diet causes fluid retention, which may lead to eye puffiness. Limiting your intake of salty foods and drinking more water may help reduce eye puffiness. Ideally, you should limit your daily sodium intake to 2,200 milligrams or less, according to the Wellness Corner. You can start by not adding any extra salt to your food and avoiding processed foods such as fast food, deli meat, frozen meals and salty snack foods.
- Food Allergy Research and Education: Food Allergy Symptoms
- Merck Manual: Eye Lid Swelling
- Food Allergy Research and Education: Food Allergens
- American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology: Food Allergies
- Today's Dietitian: Rare and Unusual Food Allergies -- Learn About What They Are, What Causes Them, and the Associated Symptoms
- The Wellness Corner: Salt, Sodium and High Blood Pressure