I'm an eye expert and here's the real reason for your dark bags

WE know that not sleeping well and feeling stressed can give us dark circles under our eyes.

But if you are getting your forty winks, feeling calm and you still have eyebags, there could be another reason.

An optometrist has revealed your diet might be why your eyes don't look and feel as sharp as they could.

Roshni Patel said: "Salt encourages fluid retention in the body and can result in fluid build-up under the eyes.

"A reduction in salt intake may assist with reducing puffiness.

"For those that struggle with anaemia, eating iron-rich foods may also help to reduce symptoms as they allow the increase of oxygen to reach the tissues in your body and avoid the appearance of dark circles."

So if you find you are often waking up with dark puffy eyebags, try tweaking your diet.

Instead of having salty crisps as an evening snack, swap to lentil chips.

And if you have salty evening meals it might be best to change well-seasoned potatoes and veg to plan ones, or iron-rich substitutes like spinach or edamame.

The expert from Lenstore added there are other reasons why you might struggle with dark circles under your eyes.

She said: "Bags under the eyes are commonly associated with a lack of sleep, and appear as mild swelling or puffiness under the eyes, primarily as a result of fluid accumulation.

"They are predominantly a cosmetic concern and rarely ever are a sign of a serious medical condition.

"Though the most recognisable and familiar is a lack of sleep, eye bags can result from a wide variety of different causes."

Fluid retention

Fluid retention can become more of a problem as we age. The skin under the eyelid becomes thinner and can result in puffy eyes.

This can be especially more noticeable in the morning and can be prominent after having a salty meal, which causes greater fluid retention in the body. 

Allergies

Pollen, dust and pet allergies are a common reason why people suffer with puffy eye bags.

If you are not sure which is causing it, you can get an appointment with your GP who may refer you to an allergy clinic.

This will help determine the cause and hopefully reduce your exposure to the allergen. 

Smoking

Smoking can contribute towards puffy eyebags as the nicotine found in cigarettes disrupts sleep patterns.

This does not only lead to tiredness but also a build up on fluids as your body has not had a chance to fully rest and restore.

Smoking also breaks down skin's elasticity and collagen production reduces which can cause the skin to look puffy or sag. 

A hereditary condition

Unfortunately for some, puffy under eyes is not to do with their outside environment but is a hereditary condition.

Autoimmune conditions are also known to cause puffy under eyes.

If you do have a family history of puffy under eye bags, people do find cold compresses in the morning or before you go out can reduce the appearance temporarily. 

Sun exposure

Much like when we burn, our bodies are defending our skin from further damage.

If your eyes are suffering from too much sun exposure, then the natural response is inflammatory – this is your body's way of trying to protect your eyes.

Sun damage and excess heat commonly cause swelling and puffiness. 

Eczema

For those living with eczema, the winter air can make puffy eyes considerably worse – this is due to the dry air.

Atopic dermatitis can occur, causing irritation around the eyes and eyelid, this can lead to puffiness as the skin's natural defence mechanism is to protect your eyes. 

How can we remedy our puffy eye bags? 

  • Longer and more consistent sleep
  • Use antihistamines: allergies can sometimes result in puffy eyes.
  • Reduce stress
  • Eat less salt and have more iron-rich food
  • Remember to take your makeup off before bed
  • Cold or caffeinated compress
  • Reduce your alcohol intake
  • Use sun cream
  • Include retinol cream in your everyday skin routine
  • Stay hydrated

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