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What is Exophthalmos?

Exophthalmos, also known as proptosis, refers to the protrusion of one or both eyes beyond their normal position in the eye sockets. This page explores the symptoms, and diagnostic plus treatment/management options at The Retina Clinic London

What are the Symptoms of Exophthalmos?

  • Bulging Eyes: Noticeable protrusion of the eyes.
  • Difficulty Closing Eyes Completely: Due to the increased exposure of the cornea.
  • Altered Vision: Changes in vision or discomfort may accompany proptosis.
Surgery at The Retina Clinic London

Three main groups of diseases/conditions which may cause Exophthalmos

  • Thyroid Eye Disease: An autoimmune condition affecting the eyes.
  • Orbital Tumours: Abnormal growths in or around the eye socket.
  • Infections: Inflammatory conditions impacting the eye structures.

At The Retina Clinic London, our specialists in exophthalmos have devised unique imaging plans to diagnose the condition and will recommend different tests according to the needs of the patient. These may include the following:

  • Orbital Imaging (CT or MRI): These two imaging modalities provide detailed visualisation of the eye socket and surrounding structures. They help to pinpoint the cause of the proptosis for targeted intervention and rule out causes such as orbital tumours.
  • Visual Acuity Tests and colour vision testing: these tests assess the clarity and quality of vision including colour perception to see if the exophthalmos is putting pressure on the optic nerve head because of an orbital tumour.
  • Blood Tests: these may also be requested to identify underlying autoimmune or inflammatory conditions.

Our treatment approach is always individualised, addressing your unique needs. Following the requested imaging and reviewing of results by our specialists, they will be able to recommend a treatment and management plan for your condition. These may include one or a combination of the following:

  • Management of Underlying Conditions: Targeted treatment for thyroid disorders or other contributing factors.
  • Orbital Decompression Surgery: To alleviate pressure and create space in the eye socket.
  • Corticosteroid Therapy: For inflammation control in conditions like TED. Under the careful watch of our anaesthetists, we offer steroid infusions where necessary to treat exophthalmos which is the product of inflammation. 
  • Eye Lubrication: Alleviating dryness and discomfort associated with proptosis.

At The Retina Clinic London we have dedicated staff to support you through your treatment plan.