Sunken Eyes or Hollow Under Eyes: Causes, and Treatment

The area under your eyes may look sunken when you have hollow under your eyes. These hollows form in the soft spot under your lower eyelid, which is also where creases develop as you age, are known as sunken eyes.

Under-eye hollows can make the space under your eyes seem darker, too, and often accompany dark circles.

Sunken eyes can be caused by a variety of reasons. Some common causes of hollow under eyes would be an injury, aging, allergies, lack of sleep, hereditary, or orbital fat atrophy.

Most of the cases of sunken eyes or hollow under eyes can be effectively managed by simple home remedies, while few cases required medical intervention.

Read on to find out about the causes of sunken eyes, the possible treatment options, and how you could relieve sunken eyes with at-home remedies.

What Are Sunken Eyes or Hollow Eyes?

For most people, the first areas of the face to show the signs of aging are within the peri-ocular region (areas around the eyes) and sunken eyes are part of this natural process.

The way the skin under your eyes looks can vary in sunken eyes, but it often means that the delicate skin in this area loses elasticity and collagen, becomes dark, sunken, and hollow as we get older.

Sunken eyes make the face seem tired and fatigued because they create shadows, dark areas, and crinkles. As we age, those structures like cheekbones and eye sockets will shrink, causing them to lose support for the skin.

Some people have sunken eyes that are a result of genetics, lack of sleep, or dehydration. Occasionally they might also be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

sunken-eyes-hollow-under-eyes-causes-treatment

Other Names of Sunken Eyes

  • Tear Trough Hollows
  • Under Eye Hollows
  • Hollow Eyes
  • Hollow Under Eyes
  • Enophthalmos

Sunken Eyes Pictures

Sunken eyes can sometimes look different on different people, with differences varying by how distinct they are. For example, some people may have sunken eyes that are barely noticeable while other people may have noticeably sunken eyes.

Symptoms of Under Eye Hollows

Eye circles are common in the aging process. By the late 30s or early 40s, most people will start noticing that their eyes are sunken and dark.

When you look in the mirror, you may first notice under-eye hollows. The appearance may vary from person to person, but hollow or sunken eyes often have the following signs and symptoms.

  • hollow appearance under the both eyes
  • a dark shadow underneath the eyes
  • a dark circle and dark under eye bag
  • crinkle underneath the eyes
  • think and lose eyelids and under eye skins
  • face looks tired, fatigues, and emaciated

Sunken eyes are a common symptom of many different diseases and conditions. Depending on the cause, other symptoms may accompany hollow under eyes.

Causes of Sunken Eyes or Under Eye Hollows

The vast majority of sunken eye cases are related to nutrition and a healthy lifestyle.

When these underlying causes are diagnosed and corrected, hollow eyes can resolve without any further treatment. This means that the sunken eyes can be resolved early on or even avoided entirely.

Below you will find the most common causes of under-eye hollows or sunken eyes.

Aging

If the area under your both eyes is hollow, it is most likely caused by age. Atrophy, the degeneration of certain eye muscles in our faces can cause your skin to cave in.

The most abundant protein in the body, collagen is what makes skin so elastic.

As you grow old, the body tends to lose collagen. With age, the skin under the eyes is one of the first places where collagen starts to dissipate. A lack of collagen protein causes eyes to sink back in and look sunken.

As time goes on, we lose fat and bone density in our facial region, as well as the supporting structures that hold everything together. This also contributes to the under eye hollows formation.

Genetics

Did you know that some people are genetically predisposed to have deep hollows under eyes? If your family has them, then you may be more likely to have them as well.

As an example of how genetics or DNA contributes to eye positioning, the eyes are located in the eye socket primarily as a result of genetics.

Inadequate Sleep

Lack of sleep is an increasingly prevalent problem these days. It directly affects your eyes, and lack of quality sleep can have a negative impact on the integrity of your skin and cause sunken eyes. Getting at least 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep is critical for the appearance and quality of your skin.

Sudden Weight Loss or Gain

Diets that make people lose weight quickly often result in the face sinking under the eyes, especially if you lose a lot of weight rapidly. Fatty areas might move and make your eyes look lined and sunken.

Dramatic weight loss can also lead to nutritional deficiencies, causing sunken eyes and dark circles. The skin around the eyes is thin, so any nutritional deficiencies will result in a lack of collagen, which leads to hollow eyes and dark circles.

Harmful UV Rays

Spending too much time in the sun can lead to dehydration, sunburns, and skin cancers, which ultimately make your skin sag and age. If you don’t use sunscreen or sunglasses, you’ll run the risk of getting crinkles or dark circles under your eyes.

In other words, if you already have dark circles and expose yourself to the sun, it will make the condition worse. This is because the sunlight produces melanin and makes your skin even darker.

Dehydration

Severe dehydration increases the likelihood of hollow or sunken eyes. Studies have found that hydration levels can affect skin health in a major way. If hydration is lacking, you may notice fine lines, wrinkles, and sunken eyes. But the good news is that once the tissues get hydrated, these under-eye hollows reverse.

Eye Injury

If you sustain any type of trauma to the eye – whether due to injury or accident, your eyes can take on a sunken appearance. You may also have swelling and inflammation, which may make your eyes look sunken or hollow.

Smoking

Cigarette smoke harms collagen and causes the skin to lose elasticity, leading to wrinkling and sagging. This includes the musculature around your eyes, which can cause sunken eyes.

Nutritional Deficiencies

Deficiencies in vitamin C, K, and iron can cause your eyes to turn hollow. This is one of the symptoms of undernutrition and should be addressed as soon as possible.

Vitamin C and vitamin K are important for absorbing iron and blood clotting. If you have a deficiency in either of these vitamins, you may bruise easily, have dry skin and look pale, and have sunken eyes.

Enophthalmos

It is common for one or both eyes to have under eye hollows and sunken eyes. If you only have one eye sunken and not the other, this may be due to onset enophthalmos, which is often caused by trauma to the eye bone or as a result of age.

Home Remedies of Hollow Under Eyes

In most cases, typical hollow under eyes can be taken care of by you at home. They don’t need to be dealt with in an invasive or expensive manner, but can often be managed just by taking precautions, changing lifestyle, and following home remedies.

While applying any substances to the sunken eye areas, make sure that you keep your eyes closed and don’t let the substance come in contact with your eyes.

Drink Plenty of Water

Drinking water is a simple way to keep your face hydrated and healthy. Not getting enough water or drinking too much alcohol can make dehydration a major problem.

Staying hydrated will have a positive effect not only on your eyes but also on the rest of your face, so always make sure you’re staying properly hydrated!

Get Enough Good Quality Sleep

Lack of sleep is often indicated by sunken eyes, which can leave you feeling tired, slow, and irritable during the day. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adults should get about 7 to 9 hours of sleep nightly, while children and older adults need more because they are still developing.

Eat a Balanced Diet

The best way to maintain a healthy face is by eating a healthy diet and maintaining your weight. This will help with the appearance of sunken eyes and provide proper nutrients for better-looking skin. 

It’s important to get your daily dose of Vitamin C. This can be found in citrus fruits, but you might want to take a daily vitamin as well as collagen supplements.

Apply a Good Quality Eye Cream

Use an eye cream that contains retinol, caffeine, and vitamin c. This will help your skin stay refreshed and less prone to aging.

A good sunscreen is one that is sufficient in shielding the eyes from harsh sun rays. Make sure to apply it every 3-4 hours to keep your skin safe, and you should use mineral sunscreen if you have sensitive skin. Apply sunscreen with a stick to avoid the product coming into contact with your eyes

Quit Smoking

The carbon monoxide in cigarettes is damaging for your skin and reduces the production of collagen, leading to prematurely aged-looking skin. Radiation from smoking introduces more free radicals and can trigger wrinkles on your face.

By ceasing to smoke, your body also stops collagen degradation and improves the elasticity of the skin. Those who stop smoking will notice their sunken eyes gradually reducing and any bags around the eyes getting less apparent over time.

Warm or Cold Teabags

Tea is a natural source of antioxidants and flavonoids. It helps to promote blood circulation, as well as relaxation of the nerves in the eye and muscles located nearby. This can improve sunken eyes by making them look less impactful.

Place a cold or warm tea bag on the closed eyes for at least 5 minutes before squeezing it and make sure it’s not too hot to be pressed from the bag. Once done, place them under your eyes and leave them there for 10 minutes at least.

Cucumber of Potato Slices

Applying slices of cucumber or potato cools the skin and improves the blood circulation in the area, thus relieving the tiredness. This also improves the blood supply of the area and thus provides a glow to the skin.

Apply Almond Oil, Fish Oil or Lemon Juice

Below the eyes, dry skin can be smoothed with almond oil – a good source of Vitamin E. Its another good way to treat your skin.

Fish oil is full of fatty acids, making it a strong anti-inflammatory that promotes healing. You can apply the oil to your skin daily by breaking open a fish oil capsule and putting the liquid on the skin under your eyes. To get the best results, do this before going to bed for about a month.

Lemon juice is a natural bleach and can help decolor and lighten skin when applied below the eyes, as well as remove dead skin cells. Diluting it with water helps reduce irritation on your skin, but be careful not to let it get into your eyes.

Treatment of Sunken Eyes

If you suffer from health conditions, such as sinus problems and allergies, that result in swollen eyes, there are many ways for you to manage the problem. Antibiotics might relieve a sinus infection and antihistamines may alleviate the discomfort from allergies.

Due to aging or genetics, we may notice our eyes starting to sink. Cosmetic surgery or dermal fillers can be an option for those who are experiencing this. However, safety is a concern with any type of surgery.

Dermal fillers involve injecting a hyaluronic acid near the sensitive skin below the eyes; they may occasionally cause side effects.

Surgical treatment is the most reliable way to deal with eye fractures. It can help you recover your eyesight, balance out the injured orbit, and treat sunken or hollow eyes.

When to See a Doctor?

If the hollow under the eye worsens even after improvement in sleep habit and proper hydration, or if you notice other signs and symptoms along with sunken eyes, it’s worth a visit to your doctor.

When you come for your appointment, the doctor will take a detailed medical history and examine your face. They’ll also ask about any medication you’ve been taking or recent eye or vision problems.

Meanwhile, if you’re experiencing anything like nose congestion, itchy eyes, or tiredness – or have been shedding a few pounds without trying – speak to your doctor as they could be signs of something more serious.

Based on your symptoms, your doctor may order lab tests in an attempt to diagnose what is causing your sunken eyes. Lab testing is often used to investigate a number of serious medical conditions that could be causing hollow eyes.

Takeaway

Hollow eyes or sunken eyes are a natural part of aging. It can be frustrating, but there’s no real health concern in the majority of the cases. Many people worry more as they get older about how they look rather than their overall wellbeing.

The good news is there are many different products on the market for treating sunken eyes, including moisturizers and noninvasive procedures like dermal fillers.

If you have any concerns regarding sunken eyes, combined with other symptoms, see your eye or skin doctor.

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