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Bags under Eyes? Culprit Might be Sleep Apnea

Posted On April 5, 2014
Bags under eyes
April 05, 2014

The dark circles surrounding your eyes are troubling. And if you could just cash in the bags under your baby blues, you could retire. You have tried cover-up cream for the circles, and the latest eye lotion touted to not only remove wrinkles but deflate the bags under your eyes. Nothing is helping, so where do you draw the line? No matter if it works or not, you are not putting hemorrhoid cream under your eyes to shrink the tissue. Interestingly enough, your looks are not the only thing affected by your lack of sleep. You are experiencing extreme bouts of daytime sleepiness, mood swings, problems concentrating at work and your husband keeps waking you claiming that your snoring is keeping him up! So the question is: Are the bags under your eyes caused by sleep apnea?

Sleep Apnea Explained

Sleep apnea or specifically obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a condition in which individuals lose sleep because their breathing is interrupted throughout the night due to an obstruction in their airway. The pauses in breathing can occur as few as 5 to over 30 times an hour, and can last from a few seconds to minutes. With these lapses in breathing, oxygen is not circulating properly in the body and the brain. Tissues get depleted of their necessary supply of this vital substance.

When left untreated, sleep apnea leaves the person vulnerable and at greater risk for a host of medical problems such as high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and type 2 diabetes. In addition, the eyes can be affected. The tissue under our eyes is quite thin and when our body’s oxygen stores move toward the low end of the spectrum, bags can develop as a result. But the issues with eyes do not stop there. People with sleep apnea who have not sought treatment tend to also have red eyes and eye strain.

Getting Rid of the Bags under Eyes

The solution is pretty simple. Get properly diagnosed and seek treatment for your sleep apnea. If this is not possible in the immediate future, there are a couple of things that you can try to help lessen the severity of those pesky bags under your eyes.

  • Try sticking to a strict bedtime schedule. Go to sleep every night at the same time and get up the next day at the same time. Even keep to this regimen on the weekend. Sufficient sleep can help both your health and looks.
  • Apply compresses. Cool compresses (even using a small bag of frozen veggies) can help bring down the puffiness or swelling that occurs with bags under your eyes. Laying a slice of cucumber over the bags can also help.
  • Eat antioxidant-rich and avoid salty food. Foods with vitamin C, A and E, such as blueberries, carrots and pears can help decrease the puffiness surrounding your eyes, and avoiding salt in your diet can help prevent swelling.
  • Stay hydrated. Drinking plenty of water, at least 8 to 12 cups a day, will help improve appearance as well as other aspects of your health.

If you have sleep apnea and would like to explore available treatment options, please contact one of our medical concierges today at 1-855-863-4537 to schedule a free consultation.

About Phoebe Ochman

Phoebe Ochman, Director of Communications for Sleep Apnea Treatment Centers of America, manages all content and communications for the company.
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