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Can Glasses Cause Dark Circles?

Angie Garcia

Written By:

Angie Garcia

Updated: 14 April 2024 •  
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While glasses can help improve your vision, they can lead to unwanted side effects—dark circles included. If you’ve noticed dark circles under your eyes, it’s time to look closely at your eyewear and lifestyle habits.
So, what’s going on? Read this article to discover how glasses may cause dark circles and tips on preventing or minimising these issues.

Can glasses cause dark circles?

The short answer is yes. Your glasses can cause dark circles to develop under your eyes.
Wearing glasses can cause inflammation, irritation, and indentations on the delicate skin around the eyes due to the pressure they put on the face and their continuous contact with the skin.
However, wearing glasses alone does not directly cause dark circles. There may be a few ways in which glasses can indirectly contribute to their appearance.
One factor is pressure on the skin around the nose and eyes. Glasses frames that fit too tightly can cause pressure points and indentations in the skin. This can contribute to the appearance of dark circles.
Eye strain is another factor. When wearing glasses, you must ensure the prescription is up-to-date and position the lenses correctly to reduce eye strain.
Eye strain can cause blood vessels around the eyes to dilate, leading to dark circles.
In addition, glasses can also affect how light reflects off the skin around the eyes. This scenario creates shadows that make dark circles more noticeable.
It’s worth noting that there are other causes of dark circles under the eyes, such as:


Other reasons why we get dark circles

1. Aging skin

woman with dark circles around eye caused by aging skin

Aging can cause dark circles as the skin around the eyes loses elasticity, making blood vessels and underlying fat more visible.

As we age, our skin goes through some changes that may make dark circles more noticeable. Our bodies produce less collagen,[1] which causes the skin around our eyes to become thinner and less elastic.
When this happens, the blood vessels under our skin become more visible and can make the skin look darker, leading to dark circles. The fat and bone structure in our face can also shift, contributing to this effect.

2. Lack of sleep

woman have dark circles under eyes caused by lack of sleep

Lack of sleep can cause dark circles by making blood vessels more visible due to reduced circulation.

When we don’t get our beauty rest, it can show! Our bodies produce a hormone that causes the blood vessels under your eyes to become more visible.
Some research [2] suggests that the stress hormone cortisol may play a role in dilating blood vessels around the eyes. 
When cortisol levels are elevated due to stress or lack of sleep, it can increase blood flow to the skin and make hose vessels more visible.

3. Iron deficiency

iron deficiency can cause dark circles under eyes

Insufficient iron intake can cause anemia, leading to visible blood vessels and under-eye skin discoloration.

Iron is an essential nutrient that helps our bodies transport oxygen. It can develop into anemia when we don’t get enough of it in our diets or supplements.
When this occurs, our blood vessels become more visible around delicate areas, including the skin underneath the eyes.

4. Poor lifestyle habits

a man with dark circles under eyes taking a cigar

Smoking can contribute to the development of dark circles under the eyes by reducing blood flow and causing skin discoloration.

Smoking, drinking too much alcohol, or eating a lot of salty food can be significant culprits to dark circles.
Smoking and alcohol [3] can cause the blood vessels under your eyes to expand and become more visible while having a lot of salt in your diet causes puffiness!

Ways to reduce or prevent dark circles if you wear glasses

1. Adjustment of glasses

man adjusting eyeglasses to prevent formation of dark circles under eyes

Adjust your glasses so there isn’t a lot of pressure on your skin, which can cause dark circles.

Consider adjusting your frames to make them feel more comfortable while wearing them.
You can change the nose pads or choose frames made from lighter materials. The lighter they are, the less likely it is to leave marks.
Adjusting glasses properly can help reduce the pressure points and indentations on the skin around the nose and eyes.
When glasses frames fit too tightly, they can create a “squeeze” effect on the skin, which can cause the blood vessels in the area to become more visible and the appearance of dark circles.
Fitting the frames to a more comfortable and properly fitting position reduces the pressure on the skin and improves blood circulation around the eyes.
The result is a possible minimisation of dark circles caused by pressure points from the glasses.
Adjusting your glasses lenses can reduce eye strain and contribute to the appearance of dark circles.
When you don’t position glasses correctly, they can cause the eyes to work harder to focus and strain the muscles around the eyes.
This strain can cause the blood vessels in the area to dilate, leading to the appearance of dark circles.
Ensuring you adjust frames appropriately and correctly position lenses can help reduce pressure on the skin.
It also reduces eye strain, helping to minimise the appearance of dark circles.

2. Practice good lifestyle habits

woman taking adequate sleep to prevent dark circles under eyes

Get adequate sleep and avoid screen use before bed to reduce the appearance of dark circles.

One crucial factor is getting enough sleep and having a regular sleep schedule.
Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep per night and avoid looking at screens for at least an hour before bed. Doing so can prevent blue light from disrupting your sleep cycle.[4]
A balanced diet with fruits and vegetables can keep your skin healthy. Eye masks and cool compresses can help reduce puffiness and soothe tired eyes.
Don’t forget to remove your glasses whenever they’re not needed to help relieve pressure on the skin.
Taking regular breaks from screens can also help. Eye exercises can also help alleviate eye strain.
One simple rule you can follow is the 20-20-20 rule–look away for 20 seconds at something that’s a minimum of 20 feet out.

Clearing up the connection between glasses and dark circles

With a few adjustments, you can minimise the appearance of pesky dark circles under your eyes.
Getting new frames that fit better, improving eye-related skincare, and getting sufficient rest are possible answers to your dilemma.
Making these adjustments can reduce the appearance of dark circles and improve your skin’s overall health and appearance.
To learn more about eye care and to keep your eyes healthy, check out Mouqy’s blog.


  • “How to Get Rid of Dark Circles Under Your Eyes”, AARP.

  • “Cortisol”, Cleveland Clinic.

  • “How Alcohol Affects Your Vision”, Silverstein Eye Centers.

  • “Reducing Risks Associated with Long Work Hours”, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Angie Garcia

Written by:

Angie Garcia

Angie is a Manila-based writer who specializes in wellness and lifestyle topics. She likes trying out new workouts and drinking coffee when not writing.