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Ask the expert
Written by Dr. Andrew B. Denton   

My eyelids are puffy and swollen, even after a good night’s sleep. Friends tell me I look tired all the time. What causes this and what can I do about it? Evangeline B., Richmond

If your eyes are still puffy in the morning after a full eight-hour sleep, you're not alone. Temporary puffiness is usually the result of body fluids accumulating in the eye area overnight. The problem may be resolved in any of the following ways:

  • Try sleeping on your back with your head elevated by two or three plump pillows to prevent fluid from "pooling" in your eyelids.
  • Reduce fluid intake at bedtime.
  • Cut back on salt and foods high in water-retaining sodium.
  • Thick, oily eye creams can contribute to puffiness, so try switching to a lighter one that lists water as the first ingredient on the label.

Advancing age and genetic inheritance can result in permanent heaviness and sagging of the upper and lower eyelids. In this case, you might want to consider an "eyelift" (or blepharoplasty), which results in permanent tightening and smoothing of the upper and lower eyelids. Eyelid surgeries are one of our most frequently performed procedures and result in a dramatic improvement in one’s appearance.

Dr. Andrew B. Denton -

Dr. Andrew B. Denton is a board certified facial plastic surgeon and assistant clinical professor at the University of British Columbia. In practice since 2001, Dr. Denton specializes in rhinoplasty and the surgical and non-surgical treatment of the aging face, neck and brow.


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