Swollen Eyes from Crying

Swollen Eyes from Crying

There are several reasons as to why we may get swollen eyes from crying. Excessive crying puts strain on the tear glands causing the eyes to swell. Also the salty nature of tears dehydrate the area surrounding the eyes, causing them to swell.
WellnessKeen Staff
Tears are basically water-based salty secretions which contain sodium in them. These secretions do the job of keeping the cornea and the surface of the eye, which is a very thin membrane, known as conjunctiva, moist and clean. The tears and related secretions also play a very important role, in keeping the eye free of any irritants, and the conjunctiva, transparent. These tears that keep the eyes in a good shape, are commonly known as basal tears.

Why do Tears Lead to Swollen Eyes?

The tears that we experience when we cry are known as reflex tears. The reflex tears are a response by the nervous system, as a reaction to strong emotions. Tears originate from the tear glands, also known as lacrimal glands, which are situated on the upper and outer corners of the eyelids. When we cry, the tears that flow onto the cheeks, often accumulate below the eye.

The first reason for having puffy or swollen eyes from crying, is that generation of tears tends to put a considerable tension or pressure on the lacrimal glands that causes the eyelids to swell up and become red. The second reason is that the tears contain a lot of salt and sodium, which lands on the skin below and around the eyes. These tears are then absorbed by the skin and muscles. In addition to that, sodium and salt, also have a tendency to dehydrate our skin. This dehydration attracts water from other areas. The sodium and salt also have a tendency to cause a slight irritation, due to which we rub our eyes, and add to the redness and swelling. The process due to which we get swollen eyes is totally natural and a very good effect of adrenaline rush. Adrenaline rush is a natural bodily reaction that relieves stress, grief, and is sometimes, seen as a result of extreme happiness.

Treatment Methods

It is obvious that no person wants everyone else to know that he/she was crying. And swollen eyes from crying is a total giveaway. For this there are several different methods, with the help of which we can fix and reduce puffy eyes.
  • Crying often results into dehydration in most muscles of the face, especially the ones that are placed around the eyes. Therefore, it is essential for us to replace the water in the facial muscles. The first and most simple solution thus is drinking water.
    Drink a good amount of water, and then wash your face with chilled water. The effect is that it redresses the balance of moisture that is required by your facial muscles.
  • Sleep is also a very good cure for swollen eyes. Good, sound sleep at night restores the balance of fluids and emotions after the adrenaline rush, which is followed by tears.
  • Another remedy is to use cucumber and potato slices. Just lie down and put slices of cucumber or potatoes on the eyelids. The vegetables restore the needed levels of moisture in the skin and would also pacify the effects of adrenaline rush (in this case, grief and sadness).
  • Using an ice pack on the puffy area is also a great treatment alternative.
There are other over the counter medications available for treating swollen eyes, but one should try to avoid them unless the case is severe.