Dark Circles Under Eyes: Symptoms

By Freedman, Meg

What other symptoms might occur with dark circles under the eyes?

Dark circles under the eyes and other types of discoloration under the eyes may occur with other symptoms depending on the underlying condition including:

  • Anxiety, irritability, and fatigue due to poor quality sleep or insomnia
  • Atopic dermatitis (eczema) due to allergies
  • Bags or mild swelling under the eyes
  • Headache, facial pain, or facial pressure due to a sinus headache or sinusitis (sinus infection)
  • Itchy skin and rashes due to allergies
  • Nasal congestion, sneezing, and watery, itchy eyes due to allergies
  • Shortness of breath (due to anemia)

Serious symptoms that might indicate a life-threatening condition

In some cases, dark circles under the eyes that are accompanied by certain symptoms can indicate a serious or life-threatening condition that should be immediately evaluated in an emergency setting. These include a serious head injury, periorbital or orbital cellulitis, or an anaphylactic reaction, which is an immediately life-threatening type of allergic reaction. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have any of these symptoms:

  • Bloody nose with swelling or deformity

  • Bruising or redness and warmth of the eyelids, or general area around the eyes

  • Change in level of consciousness or alertness, such as passing out or unresponsiveness

  • Change in mental status or sudden behavior change, such as confusion, disorientation, delirium, lethargy, hallucinations and delusions

  • Change in vision or decreased ability to move eyes normally

  • Feeling of tightness in the throat

  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)

  • Itching in the throat or mouth

  • Moderate to severe eyelid swelling with or without bruising

  • Severe headache

  • Swelling of the face, tongue, mouth or lips

  • Wheezing, shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing


What are dark circles under the eyes?

Dark circles under the eyes, sometimes called shadows or dark rings under the eyes, are the appearance of dark skin between the lower eyelid and the top of the cheek. Dark circles under the eyes can occur in infants, children, adolescents and adults, and to men and women alike.

It is commonly assumed that dark circles under the eyes are caused by a lack of sleep, and poor quality ... Read more about dark circles under eyesintroduction


What causes dark circles under the eyes?

Dark circles under the eyes can be caused by a variety of conditions, including trauma, infection, inflammation, allergies, and lifestyle factors. Dark circles under the eyes and other types of discoloration are often caused by relatively minor conditions, such as fatigue and minor allergies, but may also result from mo... Read more about dark circles under eyescauses

Medical Reviewer: William C. Lloyd III, MD, FACS Last Annual Review Date: Aug 9, 2013 Copyright: © Copyright 2014 Health Grades, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Health Grades, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the HealthGrades User Agreement.

This Article is Filed Under: Eyes and Vision

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