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How to Tell if You Have Deep-Set Eyes

If your eyes seem to be set back further into your skull than others, you have deep-set eyes. 

This is often most evident if you look at your eyes from the side. You can take a picture so you can more easily assess how they look from the side.

What Are Deep-Set Eyes?

If you have deeply set eyes, your eyes are located deeper in your eye socket compared to average eyes.

While this may cause your brow bone to seem larger or more prominent, it is important to note that deep-set eyes do not change anything about the brow bone. They simply refer to where the eyeball itself is located

Outwardly protruding or larger brow bones may be an indication of another condition. They have no relation to deep-set eyes.

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How to Quickly Tell if You Have Deep-Set Eyes

Medically, there is no objectively clear way to measure whether an individual has deep-set eyes. If your eyes are set deeper into your head compared to others, you may have deep-set eyes.

Use a mirror or take a picture to assess how far back in your skull your eyes are set. 

When you look at yourself straight on in a mirror, if less of the whites of your eyes are visible than average, you may have deep-set eyes. 

Medical Conditions Associated With Deep-Set Eyes

While having deep-set eyes does not mean you have a medical condition, there are some medical conditions that may cause a patient to have deep-set eyes.

According to the National Library of Medicine, there are 187 different medical conditions that may cause deep-set eyes in patients. 

  • Chromosomal conditions: Many conditions involving chromosomes, such as chromosome deletion syndromes and chromosome duplication syndromes, are linked to deep-set eyes.
  • Conditions related to intellectual disorders: In many cases, intellectual development disorders have a physical component, and deep-set eyes commonly occur in these cases. One specific example is WAC-related intellectual disability. This condition causes a delay in development and some behavioral issues, such as ADHD or anxiety, in children and adults diagnosed with this condition.
  • SHORT syndrome: SHORT syndrome involves short stature, hyperextensibility, hernia, ocular depression, Rieger anomaly, and teething delays. This disorder affects different body parts, including the eyes. People born with this condition may be shorter than the rest of their family, and they may appear older than their age due to SHORT.
  • Sanjad-Sakati syndrome: This condition is mainly found with children of Middle Eastern descent. This disorder is heavily associated with hormonal problems such as hypoparathyroidism, but there are physical characteristics related to the condition as well, one of which is deep-set eyes.

Deep-Set Eyes FAQs 

What does it mean to have deep-set eyes? 

Having deep-set eyes means that your eyes are located deeper within your eye socket. The eyes are further back in the skull than is average.

Are deep-set eyes good or bad?

Deep-set eyes are not necessarily positive or negative. They simply refer to the location of your eyes. Some conditions may cause people to be born with deep-set eyes, but having deep-set eyes does not mean you suffer from a medical condition.

Can you fix deep-set eyes?

Given that deep-set eyes do not cause inherent problems, there is no need to change the location of the eye in the body. If you have a condition that causes deep-set eyes, medical treatment may be required for different aspects of your condition not involving your eyes.

Can I minimize the appearance of deep-set eyes?

Deep-set eyes can sometimes make you look tired. If you apply a light shade of eyeshadow to the inner corner of your eyes, this can brighten the eyes and make them appear slightly farther forward. Some people use white eyeliner in the inside corners for the same effect.


  1. Deeply Set Eyes. National Library of Medicine.

  2. Eye, Deeply Set. National Human Genome Research Institute.

  3. WAC-Related Intellectual Disability. (November 2017). National Library of Medicine.

  4. Short Stature, Hyperextensibility, Hernia, Ocular Depression, Rieger anomaly, and Teething Delay. (December 2013). National Library of Medicine.

  5. Deep-Set Eyes. The University of Arizona Health Sciences.

  6. Endocrinological Manifestations of Sanjad-Sakati Syndrome. (June 2020). The Cureus Journal of Medical Science.

  7. Hypoparathyroidism. (April 2021). United Kingdom National Health Services.

Last Updated November 1, 2022

Note: This page should not serve as a substitute for professional medical advice from a doctor or specialist. Please review our about page for more information.

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