• What’s Causing My Bulging Eye?


    Question:

    What causes one eye to become larger than the other eye? I am on a trial cancer drug and have no functioning thyroid. I was told it was a tightening of the muscles around the eye, pushing the eye outward. I had a CT scan and no tumor was found—it could be an auto immune condition, thyroid related—but I have no thyroid.


    Answer:

    Without a consultation with an ophthalmologist it is not possible to give you a precise answer to your question. However, it is possible to develop a bulging eye from a number of inflammatory conditions such as thyroid eye disease (when the body attacks the thyroid gland and the muscles around the eyes), IgG4 disease (condition that causes fibrosis, or excess connective tissue), orbital myositis (inflammation, or swelling, of muscles around eyes), idiopathic orbital inflammation, disease metastatic (causing cancer) to an extraocular muscle, etc. You can develop thyroid eye disease in the absence of a thyroid gland—amazingly. It is helpful to have antithyroid antibodies drawn (blood draw) to evaluate this. Perhaps the trial cancer drug is inducing an inflammatory response mimicking thyroid eye disease.

    You can also develop enophthalmos (sunken) eye from sinus disease, metastatic disease, etc. May I suggest that you see an oculoplastic specialist in your area to review your personal signs and symptoms and laboratory results.


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