It’s not uncommon to wake up and feel like your face and body are a little bloated. Millions of Americans experience puffy eyes in the morning regularly, and they often return to normal as the day wears on. But when are those swollen lids just a run-of-the-mill issue, and when are they cause for major concern? Knowing the difference is actually important when it comes to your well-being — and especially your kidney health.
Any number of issues could be causing your puffy eyes, including genetics, smoking, allergies, lack of sleep, and fluid retention, especially if you regularly consume a high-salt diet. The tissues around your eyes are sensitive, and they may react dramatically to changes in your body.
However, a larger medical problem may be lurking if you’re not careful. It turns out that your swollen eyes could be an early sign of kidney disease, which is when these organs aren’t able to properly filter and dispose of waste products. “When kidneys are unable to function well, their ability to sustain the filtration process reduces, due to which, protein starts leaking through the urine instead of storing it in the body,” Clara Lawson, MD told Best Life Online. “The loss of protein from the body results in the storage of fluids and minerals such as calcium and phosphate around the eyes, which then causes puffiness around the eyes.”
While you don’t necessarily need to sound the alarm if you notice a little swelling from time to time, you should pay closer attention if you start seeing other common symptoms of kidney disease as well, like vomiting, swelling in your extremities, fatigue, high blood pressure, and shortness of breath. At that point, it may be time to mention it to your doctor and see what your options are. It could just be a case of tweaking your diet, drinking more water, or getting more sleep, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry in case there’s a larger problem!