Bulging eyes are sometimes a sign of serious medical concerns, though they may also just be the way an individual's eyes are shaped. It is a cause for concern if the eyes are bulging more than they have before. Bulging eyes protrude from their usual position in the skull. Some of the medical terms used for this condition include exophthalmos and proptosis. For the most part, the white portion of the eye above the iris shouldn't be visible unless an individual lifts their eyelid. Seeing the white between the eyelid and iris can be a sign the eyes are bulging abnormally. The patient's doctor will create a treatment plan depending on what is causing the eye-bulging. If only one eye bulges suddenly, this is a medical emergency that requires immediate medical treatment.
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Hyperthyroidism is the most common condition that leads to bulging eyes. This condition occurs when the thyroid gland, located at the front of the neck, is overactive. It produces multiple hormones that help with regulating metabolism and mood. When the thyroid produces too many of these hormones, it causes metabolic imbalances referred to as hyperthyroidism. There are multiple symptoms of hyperthyroidism. The most drastic tends to be unintentional weight loss, which occurs because the body's metabolism speeds up. It's also common for hyperthyroidism patients to experience an irregular or rapid heartbeat. There are several treatments available for hyperthyroidism, including radioactive iodine and anti-thyroid medications to slow thyroid hormone production. Some patients also undergo surgery that removes part or all of the thyroid gland to help stop the overproduction of hormones. The condition is very manageable when it's properly diagnosed and treated, though ignoring it can lead to serious and potentially life-threatening complications. Getting a diagnosis is also sometimes difficult since the symptoms can mimic a variety of other health issues.
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