I’m an eye expert and it’s lifestyle choices and health issues that lead to dark circles and dryness


A vision expert has revealed the link between common eye conditions and lifestyle choices or health issues.

Oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Elizabeth Hawkes helps her patients prevent eye problems, but finds a treatment plan if it’s too late.


What causes dark circles – and how do you treat them?Credit: Alamy

The ophthalmologist is trained to diagnose, treat and help in the management and prevention of eye diseases.

She told MailOnline: “It’s wrong to assume that going to an eye doctor is something you only do when you have something wrong with your eyes, because getting regular check-ups is vital.

“Your eyes reveal a lot about your overall health, and with a thorough examination, problems can be identified early so you can get treatment quickly.”

Problems such as crow’s feet, dry or watery eyes, dark circles, puffy eyes, red, burning or sticky eyes can be caused by genetics, dehydration or allergies – here she reveals the signs to to watch.

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Wrinkles that appear on the side of the eye are often called crow’s feet for their resemblance to a bird’s claw.

Dr. Hawkes says the eyes are the first place on the face to show signs of aging.

As this area is thinner, it is more susceptible to fine lines and wrinkles from actions such as laughing, frowning or squinting.

The best way to treat is to protect the area around the eyelids with high SPF and sunglasses in the summer.


A relatively common condition is for people to have dark circles under their eyes – but these can be caused for many reasons.

Genetics, poor circulation, allergies, dehydration, aging, and smoking can all trigger the appearance of dark under-eye discoloration.

Although some topical creams can be helpful in treating allergic reactions and dehydration, they do not restore volume.

Dr Hawkes said: “Treatments vary depending on the cause and include; prescription topical creams, chemical peel, dermal filler to restore volume or surgical lower eyelid blepharoplasty may be required as an option to dark circles.”


Although the most recognizable and familiar is lack of sleep, bags under the eyes can result from a wide variety of different causes.

Bags under the eyes are usually associated with lack of sleep and appear as a slight swelling or puffiness under the eyes, mostly as a result of fluid buildup.

They are primarily a cosmetic concern and are rarely a sign of a serious medical condition.

Dr Hawkes said using ice tools can be a good way to shock the skin and get more blood flowing to that area.

She said: “More blood essentially means more oxygen and a richer nutrient supply, which helps flush out toxins that have built up and reduce fluid retention.

“Used correctly, they can minimize inflammation and puffiness – especially in the morning – help with lymphatic drainage and sinus pressure while providing skin benefits by reducing redness and reviving circulation to give a glow radiant to the skin.”

The NHS recommends that most people get an eye test every two years, but a shocking study by Specsavers finds that 40% of Britons have delayed an eye test even when they needed it.

Around 38% of people also said they never thought they might suffer from significant vision loss.

You may need to have your eyes tested more often if you are diabetic, age 40 or older, have a history of glaucoma, and are age 70 or older.


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