A Guide To The Various Types Of Eyelids And Their Features

The eyes are central to facial appearance, and the shape of the eyelids plays a major role. There are several common types of eyelids that people can have, based on the structure of the upper eyelid fold and how much of the mobile eyelid is visible. Understanding the range of eyelid types provides insight into natural variations in eye shape.

What Creates the Eyelid Fold?

The upper eyelid fold that creates a crease results from the attachment point between the levator muscle and the fatty tissue of the orbit. Higher attachment creates a more hooded eyelid, while lower attachment exposes a more movable lid. Ethnic background, aging, and genetics determine lid fold height.

Monolid Eyes

Types of eyelids include the monolid, which has little to no defined crease between the upper lid and mobile skin below it. Both upper and lower lids meet with a smooth transition when the eye is open. This gives the appearance of a single eyelid with no indentation where the lash line meets the fold. Monolids are common among East Asian ethnicities.

Single Eyelids

The most ubiquitous category of eyelids is the single eyelid. Types of eyelids  with single folds exhibit one natural crease along the upper lid when the eyes are open. The fold may sit shallower or deeper set, depending on whether a more or less movable lid shows below it above the lashes. Western eyes most commonly have single lids.

Hooded Eyelids

Types of eyelids that are hooded occur when the upper eyelid overlaps and hoods over the natural crease, exposing just a minimal portion of the lower mobile lid. The hooding can range from mild to severe. With hooded lids, the crease is often not visible with eyes open. Hoods are common in mature adults due to sagging skin.

Prominent Eyelid Folds

Some types of eyelids have particularly high set folds that sit far above the lash line. When open, these prominent lids give the appearance of wide, visible eyes with expansive movable lid space between the crease and lashes. Prominent folds are linked to certain ethnic populations.

Drooping Eyelids

A ptosis or drooping upper eyelid sits lower than normal, sometimes impairing vision. The drooping lid can obstruct the pupil if severe. It may be present from birth or develop later in life from age-related tissue changes or nerve damage affecting the levator muscle.

Asymmetric Eyelids

It is common for eyelid height, folds, and hooding to vary between the eyes. One eyelid may be more hooded or deeply set versus the other, making them asymmetric. Differences can also occur between ethnicities or the left and right eye.

Appreciating the Range of Eyelids

The many natural types of eyelids provide diversity and character. There are no good or bad shapes. Embracing one’s unique eye anatomy reminds us that beauty comes in many wondrous forms.