Hooded Eyes: Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

Hooded eyes or hooded eyelids describe the appearance of having heavy or low-set eyebrows or having excess upper eyelid skin that covers your natural eyelid crease. In medical terminology, hooded eyes can be due to eyebrow ptosis (eyebrow drooping) or dermatochalasis (excess upper eyelid skin).

Hooded eyes are more prevalent in men because they generally have heavier and lower-set eyebrows.

hooded eyes example with brad pitt and renee zellweger

How to tell if you have hooded eyes

You can tell if you have hooded eyes if your eyelid crease is difficult to see when your eyes are open. Many people with hooded eyes describe that they have lost the space on their eyelids where they put eyeshadow. If your hooded eyes are severe, your peripheral visual field may be blocked, making it harder for you to see up top or to the sides. It sometimes gives you the sensation that you are wearing a hat in the sense that seeing above you may be difficult. 

Do I need to see a doctor for hooded eyes

It is a good idea to see your eye doctor if you are concerned that you may have hooded eyes. Your eye doctor may send you to an oculoplastic surgeon who is a specialist of the eyelids and orbit. The oculoplastic surgeon will likely do in-office measurements to determine your degree of hooding and decide the next steps. The surgeon may also do a visual field test in the office to see if the hooding is blocking your peripheral vision.

Can I get rid of hooded eyes?

There are surgeries that can be done to lessen the degree of eyelid hooding. It is important to see an oculoplastic surgeon who specializes in this type of surgery. An oculoplastic surgeon will be able to assess the cause of your hooded eyes. It is important to determine if the eyelid hooding is from brow ptosis, dermatochalasis, blepharoptosis (drooping of the eyelid due to weakening of one of the eyelid muscles), or a combination of the three.

Can hooded eyes be surgically altered? Is it covered by insurance?

Yes, hooded eyes can be surgically altered. Depending on the cause of your hooded eyes, you may require a brow lift, an upper eyelid blepharoplasty (removal of excess upper eyelid skin), or ptosis surgery (tightening of one of the muscles in the upper eyelid).

It is important to be evaluated by an oculoplastic surgeon who can tease out these different causes of hooded eyes and determine the best surgical option for you. Insurance will sometimes cover these surgeries if it is determined that the amount of eyelid hooding you have is visually significant. The measurements your oculoplastic surgeon takes as well as photos and visual field testing will be sent to your insurance company to see if you qualify. Surgery can also be done on a cosmetic basis, which is not covered by medical insurance.

Are hooded eyes like droopy eyelids? 

Kind of. Hooded eyes are like droopy eyelids, in a way. Your eyelids can appear droopy because of having low-set brows or too much extra eyelid skin. But it is important to differentiate these causes from true weakening of the eyelid muscle (blepharoptosis) because surgical treatments are different. It is also important to rule out other medical causes of droopy lids before proceeding with surgery. Sudden onset of a droopy eyelid should be evaluated right away.

Related: Causes and treatments for dry eye

Is it okay to have hooded eyes? 

It is totally fine to have hooded eyes. However, if the hooding has started suddenly or if it is affecting your ability to see, then it is important to have it evaluated by your ophthalmologist.

Do any famous people have hooded eyes?

Of course. Since hooded eyes happen naturally, a certain percentage of people have them, including celebrities. Generally, aging can worsen the appearance of hooded eyes, but here are a few notable celebrities who appear to have hooded eyes as part of their normal anatomy.

Celebrities with hooded eyes

  • Jeniffer Lawrence
  • Brad Pitt
  • Blake Shelton
  • Bill Clinton
  • Renee Zellweger
  • Blake Lively
  • Jeniffer Aniston

Is there makeup for hooded eyes?

Yes, there are a few techniques you can use to lessen the appearance of hooded eyes. In general, using dark eyeliner or dark eyeshadow to make the eyes appear wider or larger will help conceal the hoodedness. You can also use eyeliner to create a winged appearance to simulate the effect of the eyelid crease.