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Complications of Exophthalmos

If you have bulging eyes, you might just think of the condition as an aesthetic problem. However, bulging eyes, which is called exophthalmos, can cause problems with the way you actually see the world, too.

As an orbital decompression specialist, Raymond Douglas, MD, PhD, can examine you to diagnose your exophthalmos at our office in Beverly Hills, California. In order to avoid future complications related to exophthalmos, you may need orbital decompression treatment.

Here’s what Dr. Douglas wants his patients to know about the vision risks associated with exophthalmos, and how expert treatment can protect your eyes from harmful pressure.

Why do your eyes bulge?

Thyroid conditions, notably Graves’ disease, can leave your eye muscles and the fatty tissue inside your eye sockets inflamed. If you develop exophthalmos, the inflammation results in insufficient space in your eye sockets for your eyeballs. Your eyes can start to appear like they’re protruding or bulging out of their sockets.

Potentially serious complications

If you have exophthalmos, you can face potentially serious complications that may even threaten your vision. You might not be able to close your eyes properly, even at night, allowing your corneas to become dry and damaged, increasing your risk for potentially vision-damaging ulcers and infections.

People with exophthalmos may notice that their eyes feel irritated, or experience a sensation of grittiness or dryness in the eyes. Patients suffering from exophthalmos are also at higher risk of developing a specific type of conjunctivitis, which is a form of eye inflammation commonly known as pink eye.

As you suffer from increased orbital pressure due to exophthalmos, you can start to experience double vision or eyeball deformity. It’s rare, but compression of your optic nerve or ophthalmic artery can ultimately threaten your eyesight.

Treatments to protect your vision

Dr. Douglas offers world-class oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery services, and specializes in orbital decompression treatment. He can determine the underlying cause for your bulging eyes, and do what’s needed to protect your eyes from harmful pressure.

If you’re diagnosed with exophthalmos, Dr. Douglas recommends that you immediately quit smoking and develop a treatment plan for any potential thyroid problems. Depending on your situation, you may also need surgical treatment to reduce pressure around your eyes.

If you require orbital decompression surgery, Dr. Douglas removes fat and bone from your eye socket, giving your eyeballs the space they need. To prepare for the procedure, he uses CT scan imaging to target the exact area(s) of your eye for surgical treatment.

To learn more about how orbital decompression could protect your vision and resolve your eye protrusion, get in touch with our office. You can schedule your consultation over the phone or send us a message online today.