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What Drugs Cause Bags Under Eyes

by Clara Wynn
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What Drugs Cause Bags Under Eyes

What Drugs Cause Bags Under Eyes

What Drugs Cause Bags Under Eyes? The bags under your eyes — those unsightly dark circles that seem to take forever to fade away — are caused by a number of factors. Certain medications can cause the appearance of these dark rings around your eyes, while others may actually help treat them. While most people don’t care much about their bags, some individuals do find them embarrassing. The good news is there are plenty of treatments available for this problem, including over-the-counter remedies like vitamin supplements and moisturizers. However, if you’re looking to quickly reduce the appearance of these dark spots, then you’ll need to visit your doctor’s office.
Bags under eyes can be caused by any number of conditions ranging from allergies to diseases. Some common causes include:
Certain Medications
Eye Strain
Allergies
Sinus Infections
Pregnancy
Fatigue
Poor Diet
Smoking
Stress
How often do these cause bags appear? It depends on what specific condition they’re connected with. Let’s look at how certain drugs affect our vision, and how other health issues can result in dark circles.
Some medications have been shown to cause bags under the eye (mydriasis). These include:
Cocaine
Amphetamines
Marijuana
Ophthalmic solutions containing benzalkonium chloride (a preservative)
This list includes only prescription and over-the-counter medications; it doesn’t include vitamins or nutritional supplements. Cocaine, amphetamines and marijuana have all been linked to increased blood flow, which allows more fluid into the eye. As a result, your pupil will dilate (expand), making it larger than normal. Preservatives contained within ophthalmic products such as benzalkonium chloride (used in many antiseptic lotion) can irritate the cornea and may lead to styes. Although topical ophthalmic preparations without these ingredients are widely used, even those containing them should not be applied directly to the eye. Instead, apply to the skin surrounding the eye first.
If you have any concerns regarding drug use, consult your physician before beginning treatment. If you want to know more about treating bags under the eyes, see the links on the following page.
Darkening of the eyelid skin is called palpebral dermatitis. Palpebral dermatitis occurs primarily in cats but has been seen occasionally in dogs. In addition, allergic reactions, infections and trauma can also cause darkening of the eyelids. Allergic contact dermatitis results from exposure to something irritating. For example, if you come into direct contact with poison ivy, you might develop an allergy to its oil. Once exposed, you will experience redness and swelling at the affected area, followed by inflammation. Your immune system will respond by producing antibodies against the substance, causing an allergic reaction.
Once palpebral dermatitis becomes established, it usually lasts several months or longer. A veterinarian can prescribe a steroid cream to decrease irritation. Treatment is similar to that used for allergic contact dermatitis. To prevent recurrence, avoid further contact with whatever it was that irritated the eyelids. Also, try to wear protective gloves when working outdoors.
Treatments for Bags Under Eyes
There are numerous ways to treat bags under eyes. Below we’ve listed some simple examples of how drugs can cause these dark circles, along with potential solutions. Keep in mind that each case is different, so consult your physician if you have questions.
Drugs
In order to relieve symptoms associated with excessive tearing, eye drops containing epinephrine or dipivefrine HCL can sometimes produce dilation of the pupil. When taken orally, these same compounds may increase the heart rate (primarily dipivefrine HCl) and the blood pressure. Therefore, patients should be monitored carefully after taking either form of the medication.
Another possible side effect of certain drugs is constriction of the small muscles of the iris. Doxazosin mesylate, used to control high blood pressure, can cause an increase in the size of the pupils. Patients who receive this type of medicine should be told to report any unusual changes in their vision. Prolonged use of this compound may cause glaucoma, cataracts, retinal damage and blindness. Other types of antihypertensive medicines, such as beta blockers, ACE inhibitors and diuretics, can also cause enlarged pupils.
Dilated pupils may also be caused by various recreational drugs, including alcohol, heroin, LSD, cocaine and marijuana. Alcohol consumption can cause dilation of the pupil, but this effect typically wears off within one hour once the effects of the alcohol begin to subside. Recreational drugs work differently, however. Specifically, marijuana causes the pupils to expand. Cocaine stimulates the sympathetic nervous system, leading to pupillary sphincter muscle relaxation. Amphetamine derivatives cause both pupil dilation and narrowing of the peripheral arteries, which increases the supply of blood to the eye. Opiates such as morphine tend to constrict the pupils, whereas methamphetamine tends to relax them.
Other medical problems
Although drug-related disorders can cause bags under the eyes, other medical problems can also contribute to these dark circles. Let’s review some common culprits.
One major factor contributing to bags under the eyes is dehydration. Dehydration can cause dry mouth, headaches, fatigue, nausea, weakness, dizziness and difficulty sleeping. Drinking water helps keep the body hydrated.
Dehydration can also cause enlargement of the veins in the back of the neck, which can lead to pooling of blood in the head region. This leads to swelling of the eyelids, resulting in dark circles. Because dehydration can be difficult to detect, especially in children, adults should drink enough fluids every day to ensure proper levels of hydration.
Smoking cigarettes can also cause bags under the eyes due to two reasons. First, cigarette smoke contains carbon monoxide, a toxic gas that binds to hemoglobin in the blood. Carbon monoxide prevents oxygen from reaching cells throughout the body, including the tissues of the eye. Secondly, smoking causes vasoconstriction, which narrows blood vessels in the orbit.
Excessive weight gain can also contribute to dark circles because fat collects beneath the eye, obscuring the view. Excessively thin skin can also cause bags under the eyes.
It isn’t always easy to determine whether or not you have bags under your eyes until you get up close. Fortunately, there are numerous home remedies that can help improve the appearance of this problem. Many of these methods involve improving circulation to the face and reducing puffiness. Using a humidifier at night can also help alleviate discomfort and promote healthy sleep patterns. Finally, applying a cold compress or ice pack to the dark areas can provide temporary relief. Over time, however, you should seek treatment from a professional.
To learn more about treating bags under the eyes, please see the next page.
While bags under the eyes can be caused by a wide variety of things, they can also be signs that indicate another serious disorder. Always consult your physician if you notice new or worsening bags under your eyes. You could be experiencing complications from diabetes or thyroid disease. Additionally, you could have Graves’ Disease, hyperthyroidism or cancer. Signs of infection (such as fever) should also prompt immediate evaluation.

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