Read more about Protruding Eyes

Protruding eyes, medically known as exophthalmos, mean that one or both of your eyes appear as if they are bulging forward, and there can be several causes for protruding eyes.

Are protruding or bulging eyes treatable?

In most cases the answer is yes. However the treatment will vary depending on what is causing your eye or eyes to bulge out.

What are the most common causes of protruding eyes?

The following are some of the most common causes of protruding eyes:

  • Hyperthyroidism: Protruding eyes may indicate some sort of thyroid problem and are typically associated with hyperthyroidism. The condition of hyperthyroidism occurs when the body's hormones are imbalanced and the thyroid gland becomes inflamed.
  • Graves' eye disease: Hyperthyroidism can also lead to graves' eye disease which results in inflammation of tissue inside of your eye resulting in your eyes protruding forward. Women between the ages of 30 and 60 are especially susceptible to this problem.
  • Eye injuries: Different eye injuries can cause your eyes to protrude forward because the swelling and the bleeding caused due to an eye injury, may cause your eyes to protrude forward.
  • Glaucoma: Glaucoma can also cause protruding eyes. A glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve is damaged, which signals information from the eye to the brain, and is typically characterized by increased eye pressure. Due to this increased eye pressure and glaucoma, one or both of your eyes can appear to be bulging forward.
  • Tumor in the eye: If you have a tumor in the back part of your eye, there may be pressure applied to your eye, causing your eyes to bulge forward.

How are protruding eyes diagnosed?

An exophthalmometer is used by an eye doctor to detect protruding eyes. There are certain norms regarding how much your eyes should protrude depending on your ethnicity. In case the measurements are out of normal range, or if there is any sort of asymmetry between both eyes, your eye doctor will need to investigate and determine the cause of the protruding eyes. Your thyroid levels are measured as a part of the blood work to make sure no thyroid issues are present. To make sure you don’t have glaucoma, a dilated fundus examination is performed. In addition, if none of these conditions exist and your eye doctor wants to be sure you do not have a tumor growing in the back part of your eye, then you would be sent out for a CT scan or MRI imaging to determine whether you do have a tumor, after which they would treat you according to the cause of the condition.

How can protruding eyes be treated?

Based on the underlying cause of the bulging eye, a treatment plan is developed.

When it is due to glaucoma, there are different treatment options, such as eye drops and surgery. If hyperthyroidism, medications can be prescribed and patients can also dramatically reduce their symptoms if they stop smoking. Based on the underlying cause the eye doctor will refer to specialists for additional testing and treatment, as well as continuing treatment in our office.

Visit a eye doctor at an Amplify EyeCare practice near you:


Contact Us To Amplify Your EyeCare

Learn More