Exophthalmos is a condition in which one or both eyeballs bulge forward, exposing an abnormally large part of the front of the eye. The most common cause of the condition is graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes the thyroid gland to become overactive. Other possible causes of exophthalmoses include a tumor behind the eyeball or inflammation of the tissue behind eyeball.
Causes of exophthalmos
Exophthalmos commonly results from hyperthyroidism, particularly ophthalmic Grave’s disease in which the eyeball are displaced forward and the lids retract, unilateral exophthalmos may also result from trauma (such as fracture of the ethmoid bone, which allows air from the sinus to enter the orbital tissue, displacing soft tissue and the eyeball). Exophthalmos may also stem from hemorrhage, varicosities, thrombosis, and edema, all of which similarly displace one or both eyeballs.
Other systemic and ocular causes include:
- Infection – orbital cellulitis, panophalmitis, and infection of the lacrimal gland or orbital tissues.
- Parasitic cyst – in surrounding tissue.
- Pesudoexophthalmos paralysis of extraocular muscles – relaxation of eyeball retractors, congenital macrophthalmia, and high myopia.
- Tumors and neoplastic disease – in children leukemia, gliomas of the optic nerve, dermoid cysts, teratomas, lymphoma; in adult patients, lacrimal gland tumors, mucoceles, cavernous hemangiomas, meningiomas, metastatic carcinoma, and lymphoma.
Symptoms of exophthalmos
In exophthalmos, the causes tend to feel dry. Eye movement may be restricted, which can cause double vision. In severe cases, the eye is pressed so far forward that the eyelids may not close completely and the front of the eye may become dry and feel gritty, causing pain and blurred vision.
Because bilateral exophthalmos is usually due to hyperthyroidism, a thyroid profile must be done. The most useful in the profile are the total T₄ level by immunoassay, the free thyroxine index, and the radioiodine (T₃) test by immunoassay should be done to exclude T₃ thyrotoxicosis. ‘because bilateral exophthalmos can occur without hyperthyroidism, testing for thyrotropin can occur without hyperthyroidism, testing for thyrotropin receptor antibody and peroxidase antibodies must be done if thyroid function tests are negative.
When there is unilateral exophthalmos, ultrasonography and angiography will rule out carotid cavernous fistula and a cystic lesion.
A CT scan of the brain and orbits will rule out tumors and abscesses.
Homeopathic treatment for Exophthalmos
Homeopathy is one of the most popular holistic systems of medicine. The selection of remedy is based upon the theory of individualization and symptoms similarity by using holistic approach. This is the only way through which a state of complete health can be regained by removing all the sign and symptoms from which the patient is suffering. The aim of homeopathy is not only to treat exophthalmos but to address its underlying cause and individual susceptibility. As far as therapeutic medication is concerned, several remedies are available to treat exophthalmos that can be selected on the basis of cause, sensations and modalities of the complaints. For individualized remedy selection and treatment, the patient should consult a qualified homeopathic doctor in person. There are following remedies which are helpful in the treatment of exophthalmos:
Ferrum Met, Ferrum Iod, Iodium, Secale Cor, Aurum Met, Baryta Carb, Calcaria Carb, Ignatia, Natrum Mur, Phosphorous, Spongia, Amyl Nitrosum, Arsenic Album, Badiaga, Belladonna, Cactus, Conium, Crotolus H, Digitalis, and many other medicines.