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What are Bulging Eyes?

Medikoe Wellness Expert

Medikoe Wellness Expert

  80 feet road indira nagar, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   4 min     



Bulging eyes meaning proptosis is a medical condition in which one or both of the eyes protrude from the eye sockets abnormally. This is due to swelling of muscles, or tissues behind the eye (usually because of some other medical condition) which make the cornea protrude forward and exposing it to air. This can lead to excessive drying of eyes and can affect the optic nerve and cause vision loss. 

Symptoms of Bulging Eyes

  1. Excessive protruding eyes which make it look abnormal.

  2. Constant dryness in the eyes and problems in keeping it lubricated for a long time.

  3. Whiteness between the top of iris and eyelid.

  4. Pain and redness in the eyes.

  5. Sensitivity to light.

  6. Double vision due to weakening of eye muscles.

  7. Difficulty in moving eyes.

  8. Pain in the socket behind the eye.

Causes of Bulging Eyes

  1. Protruding eyes are mostly an outcome of some other disease like:

  2. Graves’ disease or other thyroid complications. (up to half of the people with this disease may suffer from bulging eyes).

  3. Glaucoma.

  4. Hyperthyroidism.

  5. Leukemia.

  6. Neuroblastoma.

  7. Other causes like a tumor, blood clot, or an eye injury. 

What can cause bulging eyes?

What disease causes bulging eye is a common question for all. Most common cause include bulging eyes due to hyperthyroidism or an overactive thyroid gland. Your thyroid gland is located in the front of your neck. It releases several hormones that help control your metabolism. Hyperthyroidism occurs when your thyroid releases too many of these hormones. 

Why does graves disease cause bulging eyes?

An autoimmune disorder called Graves’ disease is the most common cause of hyperthyroidism and bulging eyes. In this condition, tissues around your eye become inflamed. This creates a bulging effect. It causes swelling of tissue behind and around the eye, pushing the eyeball forward. Babies with bulging eyes are most commonly caused by an infection. While Graves' disease is the most common disorder that can cause the eyes to protrude it is not the only one. Protruding eyes, or a protruding eye, can also happen if there is something in the eye socket that pushes the eyeball forward. This could be:

  • A cancerous or non-cancerous tumor

  • A blood clot

  • An eye injury

  • Orbital cellulitis (infection of the tissue around the eye)

  • Abnormalities within the brain 

Bulging Eyes Thyroid Treatment

If you have a thyroid eye disease, your treatment may involve several different stages. This is because the condition tends to progress through two main phases:

  • An "active" phase – when symptoms caused by inflammation of the eyes, such as dryness and redness, are prominent and you may be at risk of vision problems

  • An "inactive" phase – when the condition has "burnt out" and many of the symptoms settle down, but you may be left with some long-term problems (including protruding eyes) 

  • Typically, the initial active phase lasts for between several months and around two years. However, in all cases, bulging eyes will be exposed to more air making it difficult to keep them lubricated. To combat excessive dryness, artificial tears and eye drops can be used for moisture and lubrication. The treatment applied will mostly depend on the cause of it. Quitting smoking is advised as smoking worsens the symptoms. If the root cause lies in hyperthyroidism, medications for hypothyroidism are prescribed. In severe cases, surgery is prescribed. Some other forms of medications are:

    1. External lubrication for eyes.

    2. Wearing sunglasses for photosensitivity.

    3. Medications to block antibodies.

    4. Medications to decrease immune response.

    5. Surgical methods include Orbital decompression: the eye socket is enlarged making more space for the eyeball and resulting in decreased pressure on the eyeball.

    6. Surgeries to correct abnormal eye muscles can also be done.

    7. Surgeries to protect the cornea from external damage are also done.

How to cure bulging eyes naturally?

  • Stopping smoking if you smoke, as it can significantly increase the risk of eye problems becoming more severe
  • Raising the head of your bed – for example, using extra pillows – which may help reduce some of the puffiness around your eyes
  • Wearing sunglasses if you have photophobia (sensitivity to light)
  • Trying to avoid exposing your eyes to irritants such as dust
  • Wearing glasses containing special prisms designed to help correct double vision

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Tags:  Healthy hair,General health ,Healthy diet,Eyes, Bulging Eyes

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