People often choose eyeglass frames based on price and style, but the shape of your eyes matters too. Understanding what eye shape you have and how frames could enhance them could help you choose glasses that look better on your face.
What Different Eye Shapes Are There?
Several different types of eye shapes exist. Here’s what you need to know:
Round eyes have a noticeable white area around the iris. The iris is the colored ring-like membrane in the eye with an opening in the middle called the pupil.
The visible white part is called the sclera. If you have round eyes, you’ll see this part all around, including on the top and bottom of the eye.
Monolid eyes are characterized by a less apparent lid crease. The surface of your eyelid is flat, and the brow bone is less defined.
People of Asian descent often have this type of eye shape, but others could have it too.
People with hooded eyes have heavy upper eyelids that sit well into the eyelid crease. An extra layer of skin droops over the crease when your eye is wide opening, making the lid look smaller.
People with protruding eyes have eyeballs that bulge a bit, so a lot of the lid shows when your eye is open. This condition isn’t dangerous, especially if your lids close completely when your eyes are closed.
People with downturned eyes have lids that touch and point down at the corners. The outermost part of your eye is slightly lower than the innermost side. Some people say downturned eyes look sad or tired.
A traditional cat-eye look comes from upturned eyes. Your eyes are slightly almond-shaped, and they lift a bit at the corners. Your lashes may flare out a bit at the edges, making your eyes look a little bigger too.
Eyes that are longer than they are tall are almond shaped. They look a little like the nut (as the name implies). Eyes like this could be upturned, but they don’t have to be.
People with close-set eyes have smaller spaces between their eyes. Your face may look wide as a result because your eyes seem very close together. But even people with very thin faces can have close-set eyes.
People with wide-set eyes have the opposite of close-set eyes. There’s a large space between the eyes.
Some people develop a drooping eyelid due to an injury or illness. They aren’t always born with this condition, but they can experience it later in life. This eye shape can change the way you look. But sometimes, it can be treated.
How to Determine Your Eye Shape
Just look in the mirror to determine your eye shape based on its outward appearance. For example, if you don’t see a crease on your upper eyelid, your shape is monolid.
Note that all these shapes imply the appearance of the eyes with respect to the structures around them, such as the eyelids. These structures don’t directly determine the shape of your eyeball, which is the actual eye.
For example, if you don’t see a white area below the iris, it doesn’t mean that your sclera or eyeball is smaller or otherwise deficient.
The shape and size of your eyeball and the important tissues in it do matter though. Slight deviations from normal can impact your eyesight.
How Eye Shapes Affect Your Vision
Understanding how the eye works sheds light on how eye shapes affect vision. The shape of the cornea, the transparent membrane at the front of the eye, is an important part of this.
A normal cornea looks like a dome. Its smooth curvature allows it to perfectly focus light into the retina (at the back of your eye), enabling you to see.
Changes in the shape of the cornea can affect the working relationship between it and the retina. This abnormality can cause vision problems called refractive errors.
Here are some refractive errors that a change in eye shape can cause:
Myopia occurs when your cornea cannot properly focus light into the retina. When you have near vision, distant objects appear blurry to you.
This refractive error has two main possible causes:
- The size of your eyeball has increased (longer than usual).
- The curvature of your cornea has changed sharply.
You’re farsighted if you can see distant objects clearly, but nearby objects appear blurred. This focusing problem is associated with abnormal changes in the shape of your cornea.
It’s the opposite of myopia in two key ways:
- Your eyeball has shortened.
- The curvature of your cornea has declined.
Astigmatism causes hazy distant and near vision. The condition can develop when your cornea is partly curved or has a steeper curve in one direction than in the other.
This curvature imperfection affects the ability of the cornea to focus light into the retina.
A drooping eyelid can block your ability to see clearly. Part of your field of vision is blocked by the skin sinking over the iris, especially when you’re in low-light situations. You may also struggle to see clearly when you look up.
Which Frame Is Best for Each Eye Shape?
The most flattering glasses have frames that match your unique facial features. Just like your face, your eye shape matters a lot here.
Here are some suggestions for selecting the best eyeglass frames for your eyes:
- Round eyes: Many options exist, but you can’t go wrong with rounded or squared frames.
- Close-set eyes: Close-set is when there’s little space between your eyes. Select a thin-bridge frame for this type of eye.
- Almond eyes: As with round eyes, find eyeglass frames that match your eye shape. Avoid creating contrast here.
- Wide-set eyes: Wide-set eyes have some space between them. Look for a frame design that can make this gap less conspicuous. Colored glasses frames are excellent options for this.
- Hooded eyes: Larger frames can make your eyes look bigger.
- Deep-set eyes: People with deep-set eyes can benefit from rounded frames that accentuate the natural shape of the eyes.
- Upturned or downturned eyes: Using cat-eye frames can accentuate the natural shape of your eyes.
Frequently Asked Questions About Eye Shapes
The phrase “beauty lies in the eyes of the beholder” is true regarding eye shapes. There are ways to accentuate your look and stand out in the crowd. You can use makeup and frames that enhance the shape of your eyes.
By looking in the mirror, you can determine your eye shape. You’ll see a white area (sclera) above and below the iris for rounded eyes.
With almond-shaped eyes, the eyelids cover the white part at the top and bottom areas of the eye. The distance between your eyes will tell you whether you have close-set or wide-set eyes.
Common eye shapes include round, almond, close-set, wide-set, monolid, downturned, and upturned.
How to Choose the Glasses Frame Material That’s Right for You. (April 2020). American Academy of Ophthalmology.
Ptosis. American Optometric Association.
Last Updated September 29, 2023
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