Millions of people around the world, young and old, wear eyeglasses to help them see well. Often people who are not used to wearing them are concerned with how glasses might alter their appearance. A common concern is dark circles under the eyes.

Although there are many reasons why a person might develop under-eye circles, glasses can increase appearance. However, there are several steps you can take to reduce the dark circles.

If you are curious about what causes dark circles and what role glasses play in their development, read on. We will discuss all this and give you a few things to do that will minimize the circles, making you look bright and well rested.

What Causes Dark Circles?

The skin under our eyes is much more sensitive and delicate than the skin on the rest of our faces. This can lead to bruising and swelling that create dark circles under the eyes. This can be a temporary condition or one that you may live with every day. 

There are several reasons you might be noticing dark circles under your eyes:

  • As we age, our skin gets thinner. Since the skin under our eyes is already thinner, it becomes more delicate and more prone to darkness. (
  • Allergies, smoking, alcohol, and other external factors can lead to dark circles. (
  • Oxygenated blood can build up under the surface of the skin, caused by dilated blood vessels. The most common reason for your blood vessels to dilate is poor circulation or tiredness. (
  • Loss of fat under the eye resulting in eye hollows. The hollows can be a genetic trait or can result from aging and the loss of tissue. (

Many of the reasons for dark circles under the eyes are a result of aging. Coincidentally, this is also the reason many people get glasses. For those who have not had to wear glasses until reading glasses, it’s no wonder that you might seek a connection between wearing glasses and developing dark circles under your eyes.

Glasses Can Increase the Appearance of Dark Circles

While glasses are not the sole culprit of dark circles, they can increase the appearance of them. Most glasses have pads that rest on the side of the nose to hold the glasses in place. The location of the pads means that they also can rest on the skin under your eyes. The pressure of the glasses on that skin can cause your blood vessels to dilate, increasing the circles. (

Some eye doctors also believe that the UV filtering properties of the lenses also play a role in the appearance of dark circles. The light that is illuminating your face, creating a healthy glow, is not reaching your eye area, creating contrast in skin color. However, the UV filter is important to protect your eyes and skin against harmful light. (

Steps You Can Take to Minimize Dark Circles

While your glasses are not directly responsible for your dark circles, they may play a role in enhancing their appearance or extending the life of the circle. Luckily, there are steps you can take to minimize the dark circles.

Ensure your glasses fit properly and are not putting too much pressure on your under-eye skin and your nose. Your eye doctor can help you find the correct fit.

  • Wear sunscreen on your face. If the dark circles are a result of UV filtering, keeping the rest of your face protected from the sun will result in a less dramatic contrast between the skin under your eyes and the rest of your face.
  • Elevate your head while you sleep to keep fluid from pooling under your eyes. 
  • Apply cold compresses or cold tea bags to your eyes to reduce inflammation. 
  • Wear makeup to conceal the dark circles. 

If you find that you still have dark circles after taking these actions, you might want to consider contact lenses. Talk to your healthcare provider to find the best option for you. However, it is important to remember that dark circles are usually only a cosmetic issue and that it is unlikely to be the result of a major health problem.

Don’t Give Up on Your Glasses

If you have never had dark circles before, then it is possible that your glasses are the culprit. Before you ditch the glasses and live life in an unfocused world, remember that they are a tool to help you see properly. Squinting can lead to wrinkles, which are harder to remedy than dark circles. So keep wearing your glasses and work on reducing the circles.