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Eye Doctors Explain Why Donald Trump Is Always Squinting

Is he worried glasses will make him look smarter?
Photo via Flickr user Gageskidmore

Perhaps as a corrective to the way Donald Trump constantly scrutinizes women's bodies, this election cycle, the media has dwelled on the Republican presidential nominee's own physical appearance. From his weirdly short weenie fingers to his seemingly impossible hairstyle to the alleged size of his penis, everything has been fair game.

The Donald's eyes are a less obvious target, but they are, nevertheless, beguiling: The man squints like a mom who won't admit she needs reading glasses. On Twitter, comedian Rob Delaney posed the question, "What's up with Donald Trump's squint? Is he shitting at all times?" On Quora, users asked, "Why does Donald Trump like making his flat squint-and-smile face?"


Read more: I Went to See Trump in the Leathery, Orange Flesh and Lived to Tell the Tale

Indeed, when comparing an original photo of Trump and an edited version in which each eye has been replaced with a cut-and-paste of his pouty, tiny mouth, it's hard to tell the difference between the two images. During his fiery speech at the Republican National Convention last week, his talk was long, but his eyes were small. The windows to his soul seem basically closed.

Why does his face do this? We asked Dr. Fred Bodker, a board-certified ophthalmologist, what could explain Trump's constant squint. "In general, it could just be because he's trying to increase his vision," said Bodker, explaining the pinhole effect of looking through a very small hole to sharpen vision. "He could just be trying to compensate for some blurry vision."

If the billionaire reality TV star needed glasses, surely he could just fix that, right? There are a plethora of stylish frames available these days; in fact, Trump has his very own line. Not only are his specs currently on sale as part of a back-to-school deal, they further prove Trump will slap his name on anything, ever, really—even when his own visage seems like an advertisement against it.

His eyes might just be a little photophobic.

Trump has worn glasses before, suggesting he may be fighting a losing battle with his squint. Is he attempting to ward off signs of aging with hope and a wimpy fear of laser eye surgery? If so, this is not recommended. "If [his squint] is indicative of poor vision, it's worthwhile to have an eye exam and find out why it's happening," Bodker said when asked if Trump's health could be in ocular danger. "Blurry vision could lead to headaches and eyestrain"—neither of which will help him in his quest to run our country into the ground as quickly as he aims.


Dry eye could be another culprit. Bodker said that people with this condition squint so their eyes don't have to open as wide to let in all that dry, hurty air. Squinting "lessens the surface area."

Optometrist Dr. Jacob Nachum agreed with Bodker's analysis of possible issues, adding that Trump could also possibly be suffering from light sensitivity, which would be exacerbated by the bright TV lights he's surrounded by all the time. "His eyes might just be a little photophobic," Nachum said. To correct this possible light sensitivity, Nachum suggested that Trump could wear light-absorbing lenses. In other words, Donald Trump could start wearing sunglasses indoors.

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While many have suggested the Republican presidential candidate has undergone or should undergo various cosmetic procedures—from spray tans to Botox—Bodker doesn't believe going overboard on cosmetic surgery is responsible for the squint.

"People often do [Botox] to keep their eyes open better," he said. "It would probably weaken his ability to squint his eyes."

At the end of the day, it could be that, for some reason, Trump is squinting on purpose. "He squints when he wants to emphasize a certain emotion or anger or frustration," Bodker said. "It seems to me like it's more related to the situation."