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Asymmetrical Eyes: Why Is One Eye Smaller than the Other?

Jamie Mendiola

Written By:

Jamie Mendiola

Updated: 12 June 2024 •  
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Look into the mirror. Does one eye appear smaller than the other? If that’s the case, don’t fret.
 
Uneven eyes are a common condition. And for the most part, it’s easy to diagnose what caused it and how you can fix it. Scroll down to explore everything you need to know about uneven eyes.
 

Top 4 causes of asymmetrical eye sizes

baby eyes size can be genetic

The placement of your eyes can be due to genetics.

 

1. It might simply be genetics

 
Every face is unique. How your eyes align might differ from someone else, which is completely fine. Having perfectly symmetrical facial features is rare! It’s more typical to have natural variations.
 
You may be in the same boat if your family members have asymmetrical eyes. It’s nothing to be too worried about.
 
However, take note that your face can change over time. As you age, your facial muscles will slowly relax and become thinner while the cartilage in your nose and ears still grows.
 
Researchers have even found an undeniable link between aging and facial asymmetry.[1]
 

2. Take lifestyle factors into account

 
Another health factor that might come into play is your lifestyle. You might not control the genes you’re born with, but you might be able to manage how your life can affect your face.
 
A past study concluded that smoking might link to upper eyelid ptosis [2] or droopy eyelids. Other potential causes of facial asymmetry include sleeping positions, tooth extraction, and dentures.
 
If you love being under the sun, you better stay UV-protected. Overexposure to the sun can accelerate the aging of your face, especially the skin around the eyes. It can also affect one side of your face more than the other, creating unevenness.
 

3. Physical trauma or eye injuries

 
woman with facial assymetry because of eye injury

An eye injury can cause facial asymmetry.

 
Rather than your genes, having one eye smaller than the other might be caused by an unfortunate accident. If you’ve received a direct injury to the eye or face, that might lead to facial asymmetry.
 
Facial trauma like this can also lead to enophthalmos. It’s when the injury causes your eyes to appear sunken. You may also feel pain or a pulling sensation in your face, as well as sinus problems.
 
Aside from sustaining injuries, enophthalmos or sunken eyes can be caused by:
 

  • Silent sinus syndrome
  • Chronic maxillary sinus
  • Paget disease
  • Maxillary sinus tumors
  • Other facial defects

 

4. You may have some underlying medical conditions

 
Lastly, uneven eyes can be a side-effect of an underlying medical condition. It can make your eyelids droop, eyes bulge, or sink. In some cases, it can also affect your vision.
 
If your eyelids droop so much that you can’t see clearly, your physician might prescribe cosmetic surgery as an option.
 
Examples of such medical conditions that can create uneven eyes are:
 

  • Bell’s palsy
  • Graves’ disease
  • Stroke
  • Tumors
  • Severe infection

 
A medical condition can also be behind pupils that are different sizes.
 

Natural ways that can help balance out your face

happy woman wearing glasses to balance out her face

The right pair of glasses can do the trick.

 
For the most part, having facial asymmetry isn’t a big problem. If you’re concerned about your uneven eyes, you can improve with styling changes. Here are a few tips to get you started.
 

1. Go for side-swept bangs

 
For uneven eyes, side-swept bangs can be a great idea. Have your bangs cut at a soft angle so that the tip of the strands will hit lower than the higher eye. As a result, it can create an even look in your eyes.
 

2. Explore new makeup techniques

 
Search for “make-up for uneven eyes” on Youtube, and you’ll get a ton of learning material. Focus on learning how to highlight and contour the angles of your face, so you’ll know how to balance your features out.
 

3. The right eyewear can help balance facial features

 
When shopping for your next pair of eyeglasses, ensure they fit your face shape. The shape and dimensions of your frame can create a HUGE difference in your looks and balance out uneven eyes.
 
If you need help determining what spectacles you need, play with Mouqy’s virtual try-on feature. It can help you try on all our frames and help you get the perfect glasses.
 
Here are some ideas to give you a quick start:
 
Mouqy’s Billie frames are perfect for round faces.

 
Mouqy’s Nick frames fit well for those with longer faces.

 
Mouqy’s black Kingly frames can help soften your overfall facial features.

 

How we understand the condition and treat it

male patient getting eye check from an eye doctor

An eye checkup can help you identify the underlying issue.

 

The first step: get an eye exam and medical evaluation

 
Before you try to adjust the unevenness of your eyes, you’ll have to go to a doctor first. One for the eyes, to check if your facial asymmetry is causing vision problems.
 
Then, another check-up for your general health to look for potential health risks or underlying conditions. Some patients prefer to treat the underlying condition first so that their eyes will eventually look how they used to.
 

Consider corrective lenses or surgery

 
If your vision’s getting impaired by uneven eyes, your best bet to fix that is to get a pair of corrective lenses. Or, if it’s serious, consider eye surgery.
 
A nice pair of glasses can help your visual acuity, whether near or farsighted. It can also balance out your features, especially when you match them well with your face shape.
 
Surgery, however, is an entirely different rodeo. This option is usually only for severe cases. For example, if you’ve been in a physical accident or sufferer from a medical condition.
 

Other options include cosmetic procedures

hands holding a botox injection to address facial asymmetry

Medical procedures, like Botox, can even out facial asymmetry.

 
If money isn’t an issue, some people settle for cosmetic surgery. When done right, it can improve facial asymmetry and reduce the appearance of uneven eyes.
 
However, this option should only get considered after a complete medical evaluation and a lot of thinking on your part. Remember, though, that some cosmetic surgery options aren’t reversible, so you must research first.
 
Here are a few examples of cosmetic surgery that might improve facial asymmetry.
 

Botox

 
Botox is a temporary, nonsurgical option. During the process, a cosmetologist injects a muscle relaxer into the area around your eyebrows. Thus, it can lift the brows and help balance out your features.
 
It’s important to understand that botox doesn’t have a permanent effect. The effects of Botox can usually last for three to six months.
 

Brow lift

 
For a more long-lasting change, consider a brow lift. It’s supposed to raise your eyebrows and create a more youthful look. The cosmetic surgeon will do this operation while you’re under anesthesia.
 
However, as with any other surgical option, a brow lift might lead to scarring, bleeding, or potential infection. Its effects can also change and flip back due to aging and sun damage.
 

Blepharoplasty

 
If the issue lies in uneven eyelids, blepharoplasty is the option some people go for. It’s a cosmetic operation that removes the excess fat, skin, or tissue from your upper or lower eyelids.
 
Thus, blepharoplasty can help the eyes appear less uneven. However, it will cause bruising and swelling for around two weeks. It might also lead to incision scars, which can take a few months to fade.
 
In rare cases, blepharoplasty might cause chronic conjunctivitis or swelling of the eye for more or less than three months. Infection or potential blindness might also occur.
 

Relax, one eye smaller than the other is quite common

Having asymmetrical features is pretty common. Chances are, it’s something other than what people notice. If the uneven look bugs you, you can make minor adjustments in many ways.
 
Choosing the proper eyewear can do you a world of good, rather than settling for drastic measures like surgery. A good pair of specs can enhance your facial features and help you embrace your imperfect asymmetry.
 

References

  • “The Relationship between Age and Facial Asymmetry”, Linden OE, He JK, Morrison CS, Sullivan SR, Taylor HOB (2018)
  •  

  • “Factors contributing to facial asymmetry in identical twins”, Liu MT, Iglesias RA, Sekhon SS, Li Y, Larson K, Totonchi A, Guyuron B (2014)
Jamie Mendiola
Jamie is a writer and non-profit volunteer advocating for mental health. When not typing up a storm at work, you'll find her binge-watching Netflix or meditating like Yoda.

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