- by Dr. Leslie Ravi Kumar
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- Jul 03 2017
Protruding eyes,Bulging eyes or proptosis-what is it?
Bulging eyes, or proptosis, arises when one or both eyes project from the eye sockets due to space taking wounds such as inflammation of the muscles, tissue and fat at the back of the eye. This causes more of the cornea to be subject to air, making it more strenuous to keep eyes moist and lubricated. In drastic cases, bulging eyes can create a large amount of thrust on the optic nerve, possibly leading to vision loss.
Often protruding eyes are mistaken for bulging eyes. Protruding eyes are usually hereditary and in most cases are non-dangerous. However, bulging eyes can be a different case, as they may be associated to a more severe condition.
Causes of bulging eyes
Bulging eyes have been associated to numerous diseases and conditions, including hyperthyroidism, glaucoma, leukemia, and more.
The most frequent cause of bulging eyes is Graves’ disease, or more particularly, Graves’ ophthalmopathy – an autoimmune disorder where the thyroid gland mistakenly recognizes harmful cells and releases antibodies, which then bond to eye muscles and cause swelling.
Symptoms of bulging eyes:
Bulging eyes are generally an indication of another condition. Symptoms of Bulging eyes may involve:
Extreme dryness in eyes
Impression of protruding eyes
Noticeable whiteness between the top of the iris and the eyelid
After performing a physical examination, your doctor may suggest one or more tests. For example, these may involve:
Dilated eye examination
Slit-lamp exam, during which your physician will use a low-power microscope and high-intensity light to detect the structures at the front of your eye
Imaging tests, such as CT or MRI scans
Treatment for bulging eyes
The underlying cause of bulging eyes will decide the general course of treatment. Nevertheless, in all circumstances, bulging eyes will be exposed to more air making it troublesome to keep them moist. To battle extreme dryness, artificial tears and eye drops can be used for lubrication and moisture.
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