Abnormal Bulging Eye, What Do I Do? (photo)

It's been over a year since my eye has been like this. One day i woke up and my eye was so swollen to the point where I could barely open it. I went to the ER that sent me to an ophthalmologist where he examined my MRI and said that something is masking the eye. He said it looked like a blood clot. I got a second opinion and that eye Dr. Believe it was my thyroid. I went to my primary Dr. Did a blood test for my thyroid as well as other parts and everything came back normal. What could it be?

Doctor Answers 6

Proptosis [bulgy eye]

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The most common cause of a unilateral [one side] bulgy eye is thyroid eye disease, and you don't necessarily need to have abnormal thyroid hormones to have the problem [about 5% fall in this category]

Having said that, there are a host of other conditions that can this problem, such as abnormal blood vessels that can bleed and clot off.

You definitely need a consultation with an Oculoplastics/Orbital surgeon. I have provided a link for you to find one close to you.


Seattle Oculoplastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 42 reviews

Bulgy eyes

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Having normal thyroid blood tests doesn't preclude you from having thyroid eye disease. A CT scan of your orbits is also necessary. See an oculoplastic surgeon.

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 91 reviews

Bulging Eye

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It is critical that you get a diagnosis on this issue. You have to see a Neurologist and take the copies of your MRI with you. It can be thyroid related but could also be brain related. Please do not delay looking into this issue.


Dr. J

Disclaimer: This answer is not intended to give a medical opinion and does not substitute for medical advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Tanveer Janjua, MD
Bedminster Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 126 reviews

What Dr. Kass said.

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However, it should not be a big mystery.  Please see a fellowship trained oculoplastic surgeon and not your primary care doctor and not your health plan ophthalmologist.  The ASOPRS (American Society for Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery) maintains a website with a directory that will help you locate the right doctor.

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 26 reviews

Bulging eye

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It is difficult to tell what is going on without examining you in person and looking at your MRI. Based on your photos, it looks like there may be a problem in the area of your lacrimal gland but this might just be an illusion from the photo. You should see an oculoplastic surgeon for another opinion and possibly get another MRI to see if the condition has progressed.

Mitesh Kapadia, MD, PhD
Boston Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 182 reviews

Bulging eye

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  The most common cause for a bulging eye is thyroid disease.  It is wrong to think that every patient who has a bulging eye has abnormal thyroid levels measured by common blood tests.  you can have all of the symptoms of a bulging eye due to thyroid disease and NEVER have abnormal thyroid levels.  Consider seeing a member of ASOPRS.org for a more detailed explanation and discussion of your options.

Lawrence Kass, MD
Saint Petersburg Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.8 out of 5 stars 140 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.