Asymmetric eyes, or eyes that are not the same size, shape or level as others, are very common.
In rare cases, having asymmetric eyes may indicate an underlying medical condition. Most of the time, however, this is not a cause for concern.
Although a person may be aware of their own facial asymmetry, others are unlikely to notice.
In fact, most people have asymmetric characteristics, and research indicates that some degree of facial asymmetry is normal and desirable.
Read on for more information on asymmetric eyes, including some potential causes and home remedies.
Potential causes of asymmetric eyes include:
Genetics can explain uneven eyes and other types of facial asymmetry.
People with asymmetric eyes may notice that other members of their family have similar characteristics.
Having asymmetric eyes as a result of genetics is no cause for concern.
Imaging studies show a significant link between increasing age and facial asymmetry.
As people get older, the soft tissues of the face relax. The cartilage, like that of the nose, continues to grow while the bones do not. These changes can cause asymmetry.
Some lifestyle factors may contribute to uneven eyes. For example, research on twin sets has linked smoking with upper eyelid ptosis, also known as droopy eyelids.
In addition, excessive sun exposure can change the skin around the eyes. Sun damage can affect one side of the face more than the other, which can cause asymmetry.
Bell's palsy is a type of sudden and temporary facial paralysis. It causes one side of the face to fall, affecting the smile and an eye.
Its cause is currently unknown, although it may be due to trauma, nerve damage or a complication of a viral infection.
Other signs and symptoms of Bell's palsy include:
- changes in the production of tears or saliva
- difficulty making facial expressions
- jaw or ear pain
Maintaining a blow to the face or being involved in a vehicle collision can cause damage to the eye area and cause asymmetry.
Facial trauma can cause enophthalmos or eye displacement. This makes people appear as if they had a sunken eye.
Some sinus conditions can also cause enophthalmos. These include:
- chronic maxillary sinusitis
- maxillary sinus tumors
- silent sinus syndrome
With these conditions, changes in the eye may occur suddenly or gradually. They can also cause other symptoms, which include:
Graves' disease is an autoimmune condition that causes an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism).
People with Graves' disease may develop proptosis or bulging eyes. When this affects one eye more than the other, it can cause asymmetry.
Some other signs and symptoms of Graves disease include:
- changes in sexual desire or function
- enlarged thyroid gland (goiter)
- heart palpitations
- menstrual changes
- heat sensitivity
- involuntary weight loss
Stroke is a medical emergency. It can occur when there is a reduced blood flow to the brain.
People can develop sudden facial asymmetry due to a stroke. If the fall is extreme, it can affect a person's vision.
Other symptoms of stroke include:
- difficulty speaking and understanding
- severe and sudden headache
- loss of balance or coordination
- numbness or weakness of the face, arm and leg
- sudden onset of blurred or double vision
In most cases, uneven eyes do not require treatment. This is especially true if asymmetry is the result of genetics or aging.
However, if an underlying medical condition contributes to facial asymmetry, people may require treatment for the condition. Treatment may also be necessary if asymmetric eyes are causing vision problems.
Some people may wish to treat uneven eyes for aesthetic reasons.
Possible treatments include:
Address underlying medical conditions
In some cases, treating the underlying medical condition responsible may make asymmetric eyes appear less visible.
For example, treating Graves' disease with radioactive iodine or thyroid medications can prevent the eyes from sticking out.
Those who have a medical condition that contributes to their ocular asymmetry should talk with their doctor about the management of their symptoms.
Botox is a non-surgical option for facial asymmetry. It involves injecting Botox, which is a muscle relaxant that comes from the bacteria. Clostridium botulinum, in the area around the eyebrows.
Botox treatment raises the eyebrows, reducing the appearance of uneven eyes. The effects of Botox will generally last between 3 and 6 months.
An eyebrow lift is a cosmetic procedure that raises the eyebrows. The goal is to give the face a more youthful appearance and provide greater facial symmetry.
There are different types of techniques that a surgeon could use to raise the eyebrow, but they will usually perform the procedure while a person is under general anesthesia.
Some potential risks of a brow lift include:
- greater asymmetry (although additional surgery can correct this)
- hair loss or hairline changes
- an allergic reaction to the anesthetic
- temporary or permanent numbness of the skin
The results of an eyebrow lift are not permanent. Aging and sun damage can cause the skin to fall back down.
Blepharoplasty is a type of cosmetic surgery that corrects uneven eyelids. It is an aesthetic procedure performed frequently.
During the procedure, a surgeon will remove excess fat, muscle or skin around the eye area so that the eyes look more symmetrical.
After this surgery, a person may experience temporary bruising and swelling.
Some other risks include:
- an allergic reaction to the anesthetic
Less frequently, the procedure can cause chronic conjunctivitis (inflammation of a part of the eye) or swelling that lasts more than 3 months.
In rare cases, blindness may occur.
Orbital surgery is surgery in the eye socket (orbit). There are some different types of orbital surgery, depending on the problem and the area of the eye socket that it affects.
A surgeon can perform procedures to:
- repair fractures
- remove tumors
- remove bones or fat to treat the effects of Graves disease
- reconstruct the anatomy of the socket
Like all surgeries, these procedures carry risks.
If they wish, people with minor facial asymmetry can use home remedies to make their eyes look more symmetrical.
Some options include:
Several contouring and highlighting techniques can reduce uneven eyes and eyebrows. Makeup artists and online tutorials can provide guidance on this.
Some people even use hairstyle techniques to divert attention from their eyes.
Putting adhesive tape on the droopy eyelid can lift the skin, hiding sagging and asymmetry.
These thin and transparent strips are available to buy at beauty stores. They are also available online.
Asymmetric facial features are normal and common. They are often the result of genetic, aging or lifestyle factors.
Most people do not notice facial asymmetry in others, and research shows that it may even be a desirable feature.
However, for those who wish to treat uneven eyes, there are several cosmetic procedures and home remedies available.
In some cases, a medical condition may be causing facial asymmetry. In these cases, treating the underlying condition can help reduce the appearance of uneven eyes.
Anyone worried about their facial asymmetry can talk to their doctor. It is also a good idea to seek medical attention if the asymmetry occurred suddenly or if it is causing vision problems or other symptoms.
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