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Bulging eyes


You know what you look like when you look in the mirror, so when your reflection suddenly changes, it can be really startling! Some people are simply born with eyes that are more prominent, so you don’t need to worry if your eyes look the same as they always have. But if you, your friends, or family are looking at a photograph and notice that your eyes are bulging (also known as proptosis or exophthalmos), it is likely a symptom of a health condition. The most common culprit is Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that puts your thyroid into overdrive, but any kind of hyperthyroidism can cause this symptom. If your eyes are bulging, they might also be inflamed, red, dry, and tearful, or sensitive to light. Sometimes, bulging eyes can signal other serious health issues; for example, glaucoma, cellulitis, or cancers, such as leukemia or neuroblastoma. Consider it a red flag if you notice visible white between the top of the colored part of your eye (aka the iris) and your upper eyelid. If you’re concerned that your eyes are bulging (particularly if it’s just one eye), or you have difficulty moving them, feel pressure behind them, or have blurred or double vision, don’t stress out in front of the mirror. (We know—it’s hard not to!) Instead, turn to a practitioner who is an expert in eye health to get those peepers checked out right away. Proper treatment will depend on the cause, but lubricating eye drops may offer some immediate relief from dryness and redness.

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