There are multiple different eye shapes, such as hooded eyes, downturned eyes, and upturned eyes, among many others. (Learn More)

Some people are unaware of the exact eye shape they have, but it’s fairly easy to determine your eye shape on your own. (Learn More)

Vision and eye shape are usually independent of each other. (Learn More) However, certain eye shape variations may affect vision. (Learn More)

human eye

How Does Vision Work?

Vision is a complex process. Rays of light go through the cornea and into the eye. The cornea refracts these rays as they pass through the pupil.

The rays then go through the lens of the eye where they are further bent. From here, they focus on the retina at the back of the eye.

There are light-sensing nerves in the retina referred to as cones and rods, based on their distinct shapes. The cones are at the center in the macula of the eye. They allow people to have color vision and sharp central vision. The rods are outside the macula, and they allow for peripheral vision.

The cones and rods take light and turn it into electrical impulses. These impulses travel to the brain via the optic nerve. This is when an image is produced.

The Different Eye Shapes

eye shapes

People often consider the shape of their eyes for makeup application. However, there are several other reasons to know the shape of your eye.

    • Deep-set eyes: Deep-set eyes make the brow bone appear more prominent since they are deeper in the skull and larger.
    • Monolid eyes: This type of eye does not have much of or any crease. On the surface, they are flat.
    • Hooded eyes: The lid appears smaller with this type of eye. This is because there is an extra layer of skin that is over the crease, which droops down.
    • Protruding eyes: With this type of eye, the eyelids appear to project outward in the eye socket area.
    • Upturned eyes: This type of eye has an almond shape. At the outer corner, there is a natural lift.
    • Downturned eyes: At the outer corners, this type of eye has a slight drop.
    • Close-set eyes: When the eyes are close set, the space between them is less than one eyeball width apart.
    • Wide-set eyes: With wide-set eyes, the space between them is more than one eyeball width.

How to Determine Eye Shape

To determine eye shape, there are a couple questions to answer. If you can see your crease, there is a second question to answer. If the crease is not visible, you have monolid eyes.

If there is a visible crease, use the following to determine eye shape:

  • If the colored part of the eye has a little white showing and the crease is visible, your eyes are round.
  • If the eye’s outer corners turn down, your eyes are downturned.
  • If you have a crease that is not visible due to a skin flap, you have hooded eyes.
  • If the iris touches the bottom and top of the eyelid and the crease is visible, the eyes are almond-shaped.
  • If there is a flick upwards of the outer corners of the eyes, you have upturned eyes.

To determine structure abnormalities inside the eye, you need to visit an eye doctor. They can perform a comprehensive eye examination and additional tests, such as a slit lamp exam, as necessary to determine if there are issues with different eye structures, such as the lens, cornea, or retina.

How Eye Shape Affects Vision

2 farmers

When the lid droops, this could potentially affect vision. This is a condition referred to as ptosis. The upper eyelid border falls lower than normal. In severe cases, ptosis can interfere with vision by covering the pupil completely or partially.

It is possible for both or just one eye to be affected by ptosis. In some cases, this condition is present at birth. For other people, it can occur over time as a result of nerve problems or different muscle diseases, such as myasthenia gravis.

The affected eye can look smaller than it actually is. The crease between the eyebrow and upper eyelid can start to decrease. If the ptosis is drooping enough, the pupil becomes covered, which can completely or partially obstruct vision. This can cause someone to raise their eyebrow in order to see regularly. This could lead to tension headaches.

The treatment for ptosis depends on the underlying cause. There are surgical options to correct the drooping if it is age-related or a condition from birth.

Eyeball Shape

Macro shot of female greeneyes

The shape of the actual eyeball will affect vision.

It is possible for the eyeballs to be either shortened or elongated. An elongated eyeball is also referred to as myopia or nearsightedness. With this condition, people have difficulty seeing objects that are far away.

Nearsightedness usually does not affect the ability to use a smartphone or read a book. Only distance vision is affected. It is possible to experience headaches due to straining to see objects in the distance.

This condition may also occur as a result of the cornea having an abnormal shape. The cornea curvature is too much for the length of the eyeball. In some cases, the lens of the eye is too thick. Why the eyeball may get too long remains unknown.

A shortened eyeball is known as hyperopia or farsightedness. This condition makes it difficult to see objects that are close. For example, it may be difficult to read a computer screen or a menu. When this condition is significant, the blurriness may also affect distance vision.

In this case, the eyeball is shorter than what is considered normal. A shortened eyeball may also be used to describe a cornea with a curvature that is too slight. This can cause the rays of light that are entering the eye to focus behind the retina, making it difficult to see close objects.

Mostly an Aesthetic Issue

There are numerous eye shapes, and for the most part, eye shape is just an aesthetic issue.

The shape of the eyeball is what can influence vision.

References

What to Expect During a Comprehensive Eye Exam? All About Vision.

How Your Eyes Work. American Optometric Association.

Drooping Eyelid (Ptosis). Harvard Medical School.

Facts About Myopia. National Eye Institute.

Facts About Hyperopia. National Eye Institute.