The protruding or bulging of one or both eyeballs is known as bulging eyes. It is also scientifically called proptosis or exophthalmos. Patients with this condition tend to blink less and it may even appear as if they are always staring.
How to Get Rid Of Bulging Eyes?
The treatment for bulging eyes depends mainly on the initial cause of the condition. If the bulging eyes were a result of thyroid eye disease, then treatment will include medications that normalize the thyroid hormone levels so that further eye damage is prevented. In addition, the patient also needs to be put on anti-inflammatory medications such as corticosteroids to control the existing inflammation in the eyes. Usually this is given as either an intravenous or an intravitreal injection. The ophthalmologist will also prescribe the patient lubricating drops that need to be used at regular intervals throughout the day to reduce their eye symptoms of dryness and irritation.
In addition to the medical treatment options available for bulging eyes, there are also certain things a patient can do to aid their recovery. These include maintaining a well-balanced diet that is rich in vitamin A and D, calcium, zinc and omega three fatty acids. You can get these from eating foods such as flax seeds, salmon and green leafy vegetables. Patients can also add dietary supplements like bugleweed extract and glucomannan to their diet to help normalize their thyroid levels.
The patients need to be educated and advised to quit smoking as it will aggravate their condition and slow down the recovery process. Patients are also advised to limit their consumption of alcohol as there have been reports associating alcohol consumption and hyperthyroidism.
Apart from this, the patients are also encouraged to perform eye exercises to strengthen the muscles of the eye and help the eye regain their normal look. These exercises are recommended to be done after using lubricating drops and should be performed at regular intervals throughout the day to see improvements.
However, in many cases, unless a corrective surgery is performed the eye continues to appear protruded. Once the inflammation is under control, ophthalmologist may recommend their patients to undergo such corrective surgical procedures to improve the aesthetics of their eyes.
What are the Complications of Bulging Eyes?
Many complications may develop because of bulging eyes, depending on the underlying cause of the condition. For example, most cases of thyroid eye disease result in development of double vision, redness, pain and light sensitivity. In case you developed double vision, your ophthalmologist will evaluate the severity of your condition and may either prescribe you special lenses or recommend surgical correction of the double vision.
Apart from this, if your bulging eyes prevents you from closing your eyes completely, then it will damage your cornea by causing it to dry out. Dry cornea are more susceptible to developing infections or ulcers that could lead to permanent eye damage. Such patients need to be started on lubricating drops to treat the dryness and on antibiotics to cure the underlying infection.
When to Consult Your Ophthalmologist?
If you are a patient suffering through bulging eyes, you should be vigilant of any deterioration in your eye condition. Patients are recommended to consult their ophthalmologist if they notice any decrease or loss of their vision, double vision, eye pain, frequent headaches, unexplained fever or a sensation of pulsation in the bulging eye. These are warning signs and need prompt medical attention to prevent any permanent vision damage. Therefore, it is very important to diagnose this condition as soon as possible. Prognosis is positive with a speedy recovery provided the condition is diagnosed and treated promptly.
- American Academy of Ophthalmology. (2021). Proptosis (Bulging Eyes). https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-proptosis
- Mayo Clinic. (2021). Proptosis (bulging eyes). https://www.mayoclinic.org/symptoms/proptosis/basics/definition/sym-20050942
- National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. (2020). Graves’ Disease. https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/endocrine-diseases/graves-disease