Rarely anything to worry about, bags under the eyes are usually the result of not enough sleep, excess fluids or too much salt in your diet. Bags under the eyes can make you appear tired or older than you really are. If you need to diminish the appearance of bags under your eyes before you can face the world, there are several ways to do so quickly.
Tap the eye bags gently with your fingertips repeatedly to nudge the fluids away from your eyes. Keep tapping gently for three to five minutes to reduce the puffiness.
Place a cold compress over your eyes. If you don’t have a compress, it’s easy enough to make one by filling a resealable plastic bag with ice cubes. A bag of frozen vegetables also works well in a pinch. Keep the cold compress over your eyes as you lie down for 15 to 20 minutes to reduce the swelling.
Dampen two black, green or white tea bags with cold water and expel the excess moisture by squeezing them with your fingers. Lie back and place a tea bag over each eye for 10 to 15 minutes. The tannin found in tea can help temporarily reduce the puffiness.
Take an antihistamine if the puffiness is the result of allergies. Itchy red eyes, along with puffiness, are a possible indication that allergies are to blame. Read and follow the manufacturer's instructions for dosage, and never take any new medications without consulting your doctor first.
Splash your face with very cold water. Add ice cubes to a sink full of cold water to get it as cold as possible. The sudden shocking low temperature will help to get the circulation moving and reduce the puffiness. Splash your face at least three to five times before patting your face dry gently with a soft towel.
Avoid rubbing puffy eyes, as this will irritate them further.
If nothing helps to eliminate the puffiness, or you experience facial swelling (other than just under the eyes), fever or facial pain, talk to your doctor immediately.
Melynda Sorrels spent 10 years in the military working in different capacities of the medical field, including dental assisting, health services administration, decontamination and urgent medical care. Awarded the National Guardsman’s Medal for Lifesaving efforts in 2002, Sorrels was also a nominee for a Red Cross Award and a certified EMT-B for four years.