Dark Circles Under The Eyes
The most common cause for dark bluish circles under the eyes is congestion of the nose. The veins from the eyes drain into the veins of the nose. If the nose is blocked up, the veins around the eyes become larger and darker. To figure out what’s going on we need to look at the nose.
Dark circles can be caused by chronic sinus infections or mouth breathing from large adenoids. Children with these causes need a medical evaluation. The most common cause of the nasal congestion is nasal allergy or hay fever. That’s why these dark circles are also called allergic shiners. If the dark circles are from allergies, here are some tips:
- First: Help your child avoid anything he might be allergic to. No tobacco smoking in the house. No indoor pets. No feather pillows.
- Second: Give your child an antihistamine at bedtime. Talk to your healthcare provider about this.
- Third: Elevate the head of the bed 6 to 12 inches with blocks to help normal drainage from the veins during sleep with an assist from gravity.
In summary, dark circles under the eyes usually mean nasal congestion. They’re also more noticeable in children with a fair complexion. They should not overly alarm you. They’re not a sign of poor health or troubled sleep.
If you have other questions about dark circles under the eyes, consult your healthcare provider.
Disclaimer: This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. It is provided for educational purposes only. You assume full responsibility for how you choose to use this information.
Author and Senior Reviewer: Barton D. Schmitt, M.D. FAAP
Last Review: 6/1/2008
Last Revised: 6/1/2000
Copyright 1994-2008 Barton Schmitt, M.D. Parent Advice Messages.