Why Do Glasses Make My Eyes Look Smaller? How to Avoid It


Higher myopes will experience a minification from their lenses. As the lenses get stronger in lens power the eyes look smaller. After reading this article you will know what drives minification of your eyes and how to minimize it.

Your glasses produce a certain amount of lens power. This lens power alone leads to a minification. The stronger this lens power is the higher certain side effects will be. One is the prismatic effect that leads to your eyes appearing smaller than they actually are. Wearers of glasses usually notice this effect when they have a prescription higher than -4,00 diopters.

This effect is the result of a shift in the periphery of the lenses. The bigger the lens the stronger this effect will be in the periphery. Of course, this means the bigger the lenses are you wear the smaller your eyes and your head will look.

In the picture below you can see the effect.

eyes look smaller with glasses shown

How You Can Minimize the Effect That Make Your Eyes Smaller

With glasses, you can reduce the size from your cornea to the lenses back surface. The smaller this distance gets the more normal your eye’s size will appear.

Especially higher myopes should have an eye on this value which is called vertex distance. Because with an increase or decrease of the distance your needed lens power could change. Watch the table below.

Needed Lenspower with Vertex Distance 14mmNeeded Lenspower with Vertex Distance 8mm
-8-7,75
-10-9,50
-12-11,25

So keep in mind if you have a high prescription that a change in how your eyes appear might lead to a change in your actual prescription.

In addition to that, it makes sense to choose a frame that may be a little smaller. The reason is the shift (prismatic effect) will be smaller. In the picture above you can see the wall behind the wearer of the glasses. This way the eyes and head appear to be even smaller. If the frame would be a little smaller horizontally (like 4mm per side) than this minification would not be so obvious.

However, you need to decide how much you want your glasses to be optimized for showing the most natural size of your eyes. Because in most cases, this means you will pass the bigger and often the more trendy frames.

the picture shows a frame that would be the wrong choicee for your eyes appearing in a more natural size

The frame for example you can see in the picture above would be not a good choice. If you have a little more myopia your head would appear way smaller with this glasses. In addition to the size which is way to big look at where the glasses sit on the nose. With this fit the distance between the eyes and the frame will be increased.

Of course, the result will be your eyes will look smaller with such kind of frame. Your eyelashes will limit how close you can get with the lenses to your eyes. Otherwise your eyes will touch the back surface of the lenses if the glasses sit to close to your eyes. This should not happen.

What Lenses to Choose to Avoid Smaller Eyes With Your Glasses?

Oftentimes your eyes will also appear a little less small with glasses if you choose thinner lenses with special designs. Those are aspheric or atoric lenses. They will present your eyes in a more natural way. But they can only reduce the magnification effect a little. It does not totally make the effect go away.

If you want to know more about those lenses I have an article here ready for you.

A thinner (higher index) material in combination also helps with reducing the minification effect.

Alternatives to Your Glasses to Get Rid of the Magnification Immediately

If you do not want to wear your glasses those are the alternatives:

  • Contact Lenses
  • Lasik

With contact lenses for example you will have no minification because the actual lens sits right on your eye. So the distance between your eye is as little as possible. The result is your eyes appear totally natural in regards to the size.

Of course, if the eyes themselves get modified the size stays the same. This is why Lasik also is an alternative here.

I hope you liked this article. I wish you a great day.

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