I've been wearing glasses since I was about 7 years old (I am now 26). I wear glasses from the moment I wake up until I go to bed (except in the shower).

I've had this problem for a very long time where the glasses leave a dent in my head. I can clearly see it in the mirror whenever I have just taken off the glasses and can also feel it when I move over it with my hand. Aesthetics-wise, it doesn't bother me, but I feel that it gives me a headache at times, especially when it's warm or I've just done some heavy exercise. I think that the heat causes the veins in my head to expand, but they are unable to because they are pressed shut by my glasses. When I take off my glasses and feel the dent when it's hot or I've just done a workout, I can feel the veins pulsating easily. I usually get a headache, but it feels relieved when I take off my glasses for a bit. Is this perhaps a psychological effect or my tight glasses be causing headaches? I've had similar problems with other frames in the past.

I have taken my glasses to the store halve a year ago explaining my problem, but the people there didn't really say much. They just took it to some other room, came back after 5 minutes, said they adjusted it a bit (I personally couldn't see a difference) and charged me 5 euros. It didn't solve the issue I had at all but it did make me 5 euros lighter.

EDIT September 2016: I notice this topic is gaining a lot of attention. The problem is actually solved now; the tight frames did in fact cause the headaches. At the time I posted this question I was wearing a metal frame that was not wide enough for my head (for 8 years). It's true that a skull is supposed to have those dents along the head, but the tight frames made it much more distinctive.

3 months ago I bought new glasses and I specifically looked for a frame that felt both comfortable and sturdy on my face. The frame now goes along the skin of my head instead of pushing it in. I no longer have the headaches which used to be so common for me. The trade-off is that it doesn't sit as tightly on my face as before, but I can run without my glasses falling off.

  • Try some contact lenses, or a monocle, and see what happens. Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 6:31
  • There are also pince-nez glasses. Better yet, try sport glasses that have an elastic headband -- you could perhaps put the elastic headband across your ears, which would decrease the pressure on your scalp. Or take some old glasses, remove the over-the-ear frames, and attach an elastic loop to each side, then put the loops over-and-around your ears. That would probably press on a different part of your scalp. Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 6:41
  • Where on your head are these dents? at the temples? Back by the ears? On your face/nose? Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 18:17
  • I have been wearing new glasses since two months ago. I specifically picked out some frames that would not press against my head, but go along with it. The aforementioned headaches are no more! The glasses don't sit as tightly anymore (obviously I'd say), but that's a trade-off I'm willing to make. (Now I have a new 'problem': one glass is much closer to my eyes than the other glass. Glasses are complicated.)
    – Babyburger
    Commented Aug 17, 2016 at 7:28

5 Answers 5


I don't wear glasses much (only to read) and I feel that same groove. I also feel other grooves on my head, for example I can feel a groove over either temple going somewhat vertically for quite a distance - all the way to the top of my head, actually.

I think what you (and I) are feeling is a suture.

enter image description here

Between the plates or bones in our heads (separate in utero and infancy) are sutures which form slight depressions in our skulls which we can feel with our fingertips. Although they are similarly located on everyone, there is a degree of variation (on some skulls, for example, the squamous suture (between the pink parietal bone and the mauve temporal bone, the one I think we are feeling) is less curved posterior to the eye. I can clearly feel my lambdoid, coronal, and sagittal sutures (not shown) as well. So, I think this is what you're feeling and seeing.*

This is, I would guess, why the people you explain this to don't say much. That dent is pretty much there on everyone (note, I'm not saying a lifetime of tight glasses don't make their mark. I just don't think that dent is unique to people who wear glasses.

The question about headaches from tight glasses is therefore separate.

The problem with that question is that both headaches and refractive errors requiring glasses are very common conditions in the general population. People often associate glasses and headaches.

However, there isn't a very strong correlation between refractive errors and headaches.

Is this perhaps a psychological effect or my tight glasses be causing headaches?

I think it's safe to say that you might be projecting the cause of your headaches onto your glasses. The only way to tell for sure is to switch to contacts and see if this relieves your activity-associated headaches.

Headaches are very common and very often benign. However, if you're concerned, or perceive a change in the frequency or severity of your headaches, or they are associated with other symptoms, you should seek medical attention.

Headaches Associated With Refractive Errors: Myth or Reality?
Why do we still not know whether refractive error causes headaches? Towards a framework for evidence based practice

*Now I just woke up my dog by poking around on her skull. I can feel her sagittal suture really well, the others not so much, probably because of the muscles she uses to orient her ears. I should know better, but she's very gracious and went right back to sleep.

  • 1
    Disagree. The questioner is talking about the depression in the skin that results from the pressure of the frame. This is commonly observed, in wearers of eyeglasses, even those who do not complain of headaches and indeed, the questioner reports being able to SEE the depressions. Where is your reference that sutures are palpable in adults having a normal cranium? I do not think it would be an easy thing, if it is possible at all. All sutures will be covered by skin, and some by muscle as well. They would have to be pathologically fused to be palpable -- markedly pathological to be seen! Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 6:31
  • 1
    Sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not abnormal, yet I can feel all of the major ones and even where they meet. I guarantee I could feel them on most anyone whose hair isn't too thick. Come up with a better answer and post it. As I further stated: "note, I'm not saying a lifetime of tight glasses don't make their mark. I just don't think that dent is unique to people who wear glasses." Commented Jul 12, 2015 at 9:59
  • I do feel the dent when I haven't worn glasses in a while (after sleep), but much more lightly. The thing is that after intense workout I often get a headache, but when I take off my glasses, I start to feel better. I was just using my uneducated guess that the frame of my glasses was interfering with the blood flow along the sides of my head.
    – Babyburger
    Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 7:32
  • I'm not surprised you feel better after the glasses come off. With a headache, it's unpleasant to have something putting pressure on your head. But the cause and effect is hard to tease out. It sounds like the glasses are tight enough to cause fluid shifting in your soft tissues, but that doesn't mean they restrict blood flow. As I said, the test is doing all your exertion either with contacts, without your glasses, or (as said by someone else) get a different pair for exercise that attach to the head differently. But it's going to cause friction somewhere. They must stay on somehow. Commented Jul 14, 2015 at 7:41

I had fun reading all the above reponses regarding this inquiry of having tight frames possibly leading to headaches... I also have tight frames and I tend to rest them on top of my ears to relieve the pressure it has on the temporals...i do believe like anywhere in the body, prolonged pressure leads to decrease in circulation and if left for a while it can lead to ulcerations and necrosis. This is why health care providers advise patients to move every 15 mins in chair and every 2 hours in bed. I highly disagree with the palpable suture hypothesis one person mentioned above and fluid shifting made by whom I think is a practicing nurse... Fluid shifting is seen when there's a shift or change in osmotic pressure of intravascular osmolality that causes a shift in fluid from one compartment to another. So on conclusion, to alleviate the headache I would either take them off intermittently or buy frames that fit your facial structure. Oh and if this headache is relate to something that you think isn't from the pressure of the glasses, I would have ur health care provider examine it.

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    – Pobrecita
    Commented Jun 6, 2016 at 22:29

You are probably aware of this already, but there are frames with earpieces that not only fold in, but are on hinges with a spring and can be moved out. This might alleviate the pressure a bit.

Also, I had wire frames which left the indentation on the skin at the temples, which I think is what you are describing. When I chose frames on hinges as mentioned above, made out of plastic, the indentations were no more. I think it also helps that the plastic earpieces are thicker which distributes the pressure a bit more than concentrating it on a smaller area.


I've been wearing glasses since 1980. I too get those depressions in the side of my head just above my ears. These don't give me headaches, but the frames do cause great tension in my scalp and eyes.

If I lightly pull the frames that go over my ears outward and away from my scalp, all the tension melts away instantly.

Contacts would probably relieve this. I haven't tried them since 1980 - - they didn't work well for astigmatism at the time. I never tried them again.


Just my personal experience, but I feel my head to be extremely sensitive to glasses. I've been wearing glasses since childhood, but I finally changed to contact lenses about two years ago. Since then the discomfort on my head largely stopped and I feel much more natural now in various activities. I guess people feeling the same can definitely try it out and see if that makes them feel better.

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