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Eye shape is important when it comes to applying makeup and making aesthetic decisions about eyewear. But did you know it also affects your vision?
There are six different eye shapes, as well as several variations within each category. Eye placement also plays a role in your visual ability.
Here are the different types of eye shapes:
A person with almond-shaped eyes has an iris that touches the eyelid on both the bottom and the top. They have a visible crease on the lids and the ends of their eyes taper at the tear duct and the outer point. Almond eyes are wider than other shapes and have smaller eyelids.
A person with round eyes has visibly noticeable creases. The whites on the top or bottom of their irises are visible. Their eyes appear more circular and/or larger and more prominent. The outer and inner corners of their eyes do not taper or pull inward or outward.
A person with monolid eyes does not have much of or any crease. Their eyes look flat.
A person with protruding eyes has eyeballs that appear to bulge outward from the eye socket.
A person with downturned eyes has eyes that taper downward at the outer corner. The eye appears to have a slight drop toward the cheekbone.
Upturned eyes are the opposite of downturned eyes. The eye shape is usually almond-like, but at the outer corner there is a slight lift and the bottom lashes turn upward. Some people call this eye shape cat eyes.
This refers to the location of the eyes on the face more than the shape of the eye. Close set eyes have less space between the eyes. There is very little space on either side of the bridge of the nose.
Wide set eyes are the opposite of close set eyes. The space between them (across the nose bridge) is further apart.
Deep-set eyes give the appearance of a more prominent brow bone. They are set deeper in the skull and appear larger than non-deep set eyes.
Someone with hooded eyes has eyelids that appear smaller. The hood is caused by an extra layer of skin that droops down over the crease.
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It might seem like determining your eye shape is as easy as looking at your eyes. However, people can have a blend of different eye shapes. There are also endless variations of these shapes.
Everyone’s face is unique, so just a slight difference from the standard definition of one’s eye shape can make things confusing.
Start by determining if you can see a crease. If you cannot see your crease, you have monolid eyes. If you can see the crease, consider the following:
In some cases, drooping eyelids are confused with hooded eyes. Drooping can be a sign of a medical concern.
If there is an issue within the eye, you’ll need to undergo a comprehensive eye examination. Rarely do vision issues affect eye shape, but eye shape can affect overall vision.
For example, drooping eyelids can interfere with vision. This condition is called ptosis. It occurs when the upper eyelid border falls low enough to partially or fully cover the pupil.
A person can have ptosis in one or both eyes. It might be present at birth or develop over time due to nerve problems or muscle diseases. Severe ptosis can cause someone to compensate for vision obstruction by lifting their eyebrow, which leads to tension headaches.
Treatment for ptosis varies, but surgery is an option.
Additionally, the shape of someone’s eyeball also affects vision. Elongated eyeballs are an indication of nearsightedness or myopia. This means the person has difficulty seeing far away.
Most people with nearsightedness can see up close. But far-off items cause blurriness and trying to focus can lead to eyestrain and headaches.
Nearsightedness is also caused by the cornea having an abnormal shape. When the curvature is too severe for the eyeball’s length (or the lens of the eye is too thick), nearsightedness can occur.
Shortened eyeballs are an indication of hyperopia or farsightedness. People with farsightedness struggle to see close-up objects clearly. They might have difficulty reading or looking at a computer or phone screen. Severe cases of farsightedness can also affect distance vision. Farsightedness also occurs when the cornea has too slight a curvature.
In most cases, eye shape is nothing more than an aesthetic issue. It plays a small role in vision. However, eyeball shape can have a significant effect on vision.
(1) “Astigmatism | National Eye Institute.” www.nei.nih.gov.
(2) “Eye Health - American Academy of Ophthalmology.” Aao.org, 2019.
(3) Mayo Clinic. “Nearsightedness - Symptoms and Causes.” Mayo Clinic, 2018.
(4) “Farsightedness: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment.” Cleveland Clinic.
(5) “Farsightedness (Hyperopia) | National Eye Institute.” www.nei.nih.gov.
(6) Harvard Health Publishing. “Drooping Eyelid (Ptosis).” Harvard Health.