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Dr. Dan B.
Dr. Dan B., Board Certified Ophthalmologist
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 3343
Experience:  Eye surgeon experienced in cataracts, glaucoma, retina & neuro-ophthalmology
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What does it mean when one of your eyes is bigger than your

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What does it mean when one of your eyes is bigger than your other eye?

Hello and thanks for your question.

Is this an observation that you are making about your eyes after you've looked at them in the mirror? Is this an observation that other people are making?

Or did you see an eye doctor who told you that you have one eye bigger than the other, after having measured the eyes?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
The difference is obvious when I look in the mirror. Several people have mentioned the difference to me. Three other eye doctors and my general physician have also commented on it. Appears to get worse as I get older.

There are a few things that can cause one eye to appear bigger than the other.

First, the eyes can actually be different sizes. Usually the eyes are not exactly the same size, but the differences are small enough that this could not be distinguished by the naked eye. There can rarely be very large differences in the sizes of the eye, such as one eye that is very much larger, but this is a condition that usually has been there since birth so that would not be part of this equation.

Second, the eyelids of one eye can be retracted and therefore you see more whites of the eyes one the retracted side than on the other side. This can give the appearance of that eye being bigger than the other. This is very common in people who have thyroid disease. In addition, in thyroid patients, the tissues behind the eye can get bigger and cause the eyeball to be pushed out of its socket, also giving rise to the appearance of a bigger eye. If you have symptoms consistent with thyroid dysfunction, then this should be an obvious place to start looking.

Lastly, if one eye's eyelids are droopier than another; if your eyelid on one side is starting to droop compared to what it used to look like, this can make this eye seem smaller and therefore the other eye seem larger in comparison.

Does this make sense and does this help address your concerns?

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My opinion is solely informative and does not constitute a formal medical opinion or recommendation. For a formal medical opinion and/or recommendation you must be examined by your doctor.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
You can definitely see more white in the larger eye and the eyelid does to appear droopier in the smaller eye. There has been a history of thyroid disease in my family, so I will bring this up at my next physical. I have considered plastic surgery because I have a daughter who is eleven and her friends ask her about it and I can tell when I am talking to people they are noticing it. Do you feel this is an option? The only drama I can remember regarding the larger eye is that when I was in seventh grade I was playing second base in softball and was hit in the left eye with a line drive softball.

If the left eye is the eye that has the smaller eye appearance and the droopier eyelid, then it is possible that this eyelid muscle was damaged at that time and has progressively lost some of its function. If that is the case and that is the only reason for the asymmetric appearance between the two eyes, then surgery will help you look more asymmetric by fixing that droopy eyelid. But I do think it's important to make sure that the other, larger appearing eye, is not that way because of thyroid problems. Even if the droopy eyelid is not causing this asymmetric appearance, surgery can still likely help the appearance of that eyelid and probably help you look more like you used to.

I hope that's been helpful.

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
My left eye is the eye that got hit and it is the eye that appears larger. I also only wear only one contact for close up and I wear it in my left eye. Thank you very much for the information!

Okay, so it's not likely that the eyelid muscle was damaged by that hit if that eye appears larger, but the thyroid thing is a good thing to look into and, yes, fixing that droopy eyelid is certainly a possibility. Your eye doctor should be able to get that ball rolling. I hope that's helped.

Good luck to you!

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