Classification and external resources

Patient with bilateral exophthalmos, as well as strabismus (asymmetrical eye alignment).
ICD-10 H05.2
ICD-9 376.2-376.3
DiseasesDB 18612
MedlinePlus 003033
eMedicine oph/616
MeSH D005094

Exophthalmos (also called exophthalmia or proptosis) is a bulging of the eye anteriorly out of the orbit. Exophthalmos can be either bilateral (as is often seen in Graves' disease) or unilateral (as is often seen in an orbital tumor). Measurement of the degree of exophthalmos is performed using an exophthalmometer. Complete or partial dislocation from the orbit is also possible from trauma or swelling of surrounding tissue resulting from trauma. Trauma to the orbit can lead to bleeding behind the eye, a condition called retrobulbar hemorrhage. The hemorrhage has nowhere to escape and the increased pressure pushes the eye out of the socket, leading to exopthalmos or proptosis and can also cause blindness if not treated promptly.

In the case of Graves' disease, the displacement of the eye is due to abnormal connective tissue deposition in the orbit and extraocular muscles which can be visualized by CT or MRI.[1]

If left untreated, exophthalmos can cause the eyelids to fail to close during sleep leading to corneal dryness and damage. Another possible complication would be a form of redness or irritation called "Superior limbic keratoconjunctivitis", where the area above the cornea becomes inflamed as a result of increased friction when blinking. The process that is causing the displacement of the eye may also compress the optic nerve or ophthalmic artery, leading to blindness.


Exophthalmos vs. proptosis

Some sources define exophthalmos as a protrusion of the globe greater than 18 mm and proptosis as a protusion equal to or less than 18 mm. (Epstein et al., 2003). Others define exophthalmos as protrusion secondary to endocrine dysfunction and proptosis as any non-endocrine-mediated protrusion [1].


Exophthalmos in dogs

Exophthalmos in a Pug

Exophthalmos is commonly found in dogs. It is seen in brachycephalic (short nosed) dog breeds because of the shallow orbit. However, it can lead to keratitis secondary to exposure of the cornea. Exophthalmos is commonly seen in the Pug, Boston Terrier, Pekingese, and Shih Tzu.

See also


  1. ^ Owen Epstein, David Perkin, John Cookson, David P de Bono (April 2003). Clinical examination (3rd edition ed.). St. Louis: Mosby. ISBN 0-7234-3229-5. 

External links

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Exophthalmos — Ex oph*thal mos, ||Exophthalmus Ex oph*thal mus, n. [NL.] (Med.) Same as {Exophthalmia}. Syn: exophthalmus, exophthalmy. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • exophthalmos — [eks΄äf thal′məseks΄äf thal′məs] n. [ModL < Gr, with prominent eyes < ex , out + ophthalmos, an eye: see OPHTHALMIA] abnormal protrusion of the eyeball, caused by various disorders: also exophthalmus [eks΄äf thal′məs] or exophthalmia… …   English World dictionary

  • exophthalmos — exophthalmic, adj. /ek sof thal meuhs, mos/, n. Pathol. protrusion of the eyeball from the orbit, caused by disease, esp. hyperthyroidism, or injury. Also, exophthalmus /ek sof thal meuhs/, exophthalmia /ek sof thal mee euh/. [1870 75; < NL < Gk… …   Universalium

  • exophthalmos — also exophthalmus noun Etymology: New Latin, from Greek exophthalmos having prominent eyes, from ex out + ophthalmos eye; akin to Greek ōps eye more at eye Date: 1872 abnormal protrusion of the eyeball • exophthalmic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Exophthalmos — Protruding eyeball. A common finding in hyperthyroidism (too much thyroid hormone) of Graves disease. * * * ex·oph·thal·mos also ex·oph·thal·mus .ek säf thal məs, səf n abnormal protrusion of the eyeball ex·oph·thal·mic .ek säf thal mik adj * * * …   Medical dictionary

  • exophthalmos — [ˌɛksɒf θalmɒs] noun Medicine abnormal protrusion of the eyeball or eyeballs. Derivatives exophthalmic adjective Origin C17: from mod. L. exophthalmus, from Gk exophthalmos having prominent eyes …   English new terms dictionary

  • exophthalmos — ex•oph•thal•mos or ex•oph•thal•mus [[t]ˌɛk sɒfˈθæl məs[/t]] also ex oph•thal′mi•a n. pat protrusion of the eyeball from the orbit, caused by disease or injury • Etymology: 1870–75; < NL < Gk exóphthalmos with prominent eyes = ex… …   From formal English to slang

  • exophthalmos — n. (also exophthalmus, exophthalmia) Med. abnormal protrusion of the eyeball. Derivatives: exophthalmic adj. Etymology: mod.L f. Gk exophthalmos having prominent eyes (as EX (2), ophthalmos eye) …   Useful english dictionary

  • exophthalmos — protrusion of an eyeball. Usually results from liquid or gas accumulation at the rear of the eye socket or by diseases. Also called popeye …   Dictionary of ichthyology

  • exophthalmos — noun An abnormal protrusion of the eyeball from its socket …   Wiktionary

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