The Solution to Puffy Crying Eyes

Puffy Crying Eyes

Everyone deserves to have a good, hard cry every now and again to let built-up emotions out but the downside of crying (maybe too hard and long) is dealing with those puffy eyes later. While there are a lot of myths and old wives tales out there about how to “magically” get rid of the puffy, red circles after crying but this explains why our eyes get puffy and it will sum up the best methods for you. So, let’s find out why do eyes swell after crying!

First, did you know that there are three different types of tears that we cry? 


These tears are constantly secreted to help keep your corneas lubricated and oxygenated. These tears are produced in the lacrimal glands, which are located on the outsides of the upper and lower eyelids. Basal tears are responsible for keeping the eyes moisturized, help provide an even and clear surface to ensure optimally clear vision and help flush any small irritants out of the eye. Once the tears have done their job, they drain into the lacrimal sacs in the corners of your eye to end up in the nasal passages (why your nose gets stuffy when you cry).


The tears are released in response to pain or when a foreign object enters the eye. The brain triggers the release of these tears to help flush and heal the eyes. While their composition is similar to basal tears, reflexive tears have slightly more nutrients to help heal in the event of an eye injury.


Released by the brain when triggered by emotional responses such as happiness or sadness, emotional tears do serve a biological function as well. During times of high emotion, the body endures chemical increases and emotional tears (being more water-based than basal or reflexive) carry more protein-based hormones and help counteract the body’s chemical imbalance from the emotion levels.
Why do our eyes swell? There are two reasons that help explain why our eyes swell after crying and the first is that when we cry, our lacrimal glands are working extra hard to produce a steady stream of tears, which the glands are not used to. The overworked glands can become inflamed and lead to swelling. The second reason that our eyes swell after we have been crying (emotionally) is that emotional tears contain a higher concentration of water than basal tears, which brings osmosis into play. The water in the tears will flow to areas of lower concentration, which in this case is the saltier ocular tissues around the eyes, trying to balance the levels of water. Thus when we cry from emotions, our eyes will hold those tears in the tissues, which results in swelled, puffy eyes.

How do you get make puffy eyes go away? Depending on the amount of time you have to relieve the puffiness, there are a few steps you can take to help.

Washing face and eyesQuick fix

Run your fingers under cold water or rest them on top of an eye ice cube, once cold you will need to run your fingers from the inside corners to the outside corners of your eyes trying to help the excess water drain away from your lacrimal glands. If you have access to an eye serum that contains yeast extracts, that can help take down a lot of the swelling as well.


Start by splashing cold water on your face, followed by icing your eyes with a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel (much more contouring than an ice pack). Leave on your face for 15 minutes to help take down some general swelling. Next, take two cold water steeped green tea bags and rest them over your closed eyelids for 10 minutes. The antioxidants in the green tea will help constrict the blood vessels under the skin and help reduce the remaining swelling. The finishing step (if available) is using cucumber slices for their antioxidant properties followed by potato slices to help brighten up your eyes. Each should be used for a few minutes in that order. The remaining swelling and redness should be gone by morning.

If you find yourself with perpetual watery, itchy eyes from irritating contacts? Redness and swelling just won’t ever go away, no matter what you do? Well, maybe it is time to stop shedding those tears over you uncomfortable contacts and let Diamond Vision help you get your vision back. Our award-winning staff is proud to offer a full line of vision correcting procedures and the right one for you will be determined on your specific needs and qualifications. To schedule your free consultation today, visit One of our centers is the Atlanta eye health clinic

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