What Causes Eye Bags in a Young Man?

Late teenage male with pretty bad eyebags. Since is usualy appears as we age and my parents don't have particularly bad eye bags what can be the cause?

Doctor Answers 2

Lower eyelid bags in a young man

The eyeball sits in a bone walled socket & is cushioned by surrounding fat. This prevents the eyeball from sustaining damage by striking the bone side walls.
The lower eyelid has a 3 layer construction:
1-the outermost layer consists of skin & eye closing muscle
2-the middle layer consists of cartilage, eyelid lowering muscle & a thin membrane that extends between the cartilage & the outer lower bone edge of the eye socket
3-the innermost layer consists of the conjuctiva a membrane like tissue that produces tears & covers the eyeball when the eye is closed

As one ages the membrane in layer 2 between cartilage & eye socket rim stretches. This membrane normally holds the fat that surrounds & cushions the eyeball in place within the eye socket. However, once it is stretched out it can no longer keep fat within the socket. This protruding fat then gives the appearance of puffy eyes. Inherently weak membranes, receded cheek bones and uncontrolled allergies (due to tissue swelling) can make this fat protrusion occur at a younger age.

Los Angeles Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Thin septum.

There is a thin membrane in the upper eyelid and the lower eyelid that keeps the eye socket fat back in the eye socket, where it should be.

As we age, this membrane becomes attenuated [thinner] and allows the fat to bulge into the eyelids. This is usually the cause of the eye "bags".

No some younger patients will have this unusual anatomy very early in life, likely as a congenital development. It is usually a hereditary phenomenon, but doesn't necessarily have to be.

And a very small clarification on Dr. Stone's anatomy description which is quite accurate, except that there is no cartilage within the eyelid. The eyelid "tarsus" is actually dense fibrous tissue and not cartilage.

A.J. Amadi, MD
Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 37 reviews

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