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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 11267
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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one of my eye looks bigger (more open) than my other eye, noticed

Resolved Question:

one of my eye looks bigger (more open) than my other eye, noticed this last month..can u tell me what is causing this?
Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

The most common cause for one eye to look bigger then the other (stick out more) is thyroid eye disease, also called Graves disease.

Dr. Rick :

This can occur even with completely normal thyroid laboratory tests and function.

Dr. Rick :

Here is an excellent article on this topic:

Dr. Rick :

Dr. Rick :

There seems to be something wrong with the chat system today. Let's switch to Q&A....see you there....


it's really not sticking out, it's more's not painful, my vision is not blurred or not doubled, is there something I can do in the mean time?

Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
Hi. I'm still here. Let's continue working on your question.
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
When you eye seems to be "more open" it can be due to a couple of things. Either you have increased volume behind the eyeball, pushing it forward (tumor, abnormal blood vessel, Graves disease, etc) or your eyelid is retracted farther then normal (scar formation, tumors, muscle or skin abnormalities etc)

As I said, tumors (even though, GASP!, I mentioned them twice :), are very, very, very rare. Graves disease is the most common.

I'm glad your optometrist knew right away that this was something beyond his training and has referred you to an ophthalmologist. Until you see the Eye MD you should continue to use natural tears to protect your eye from drying out and, if your partner notices that your eye is open at all while you are sleeping, goop up your eye with a protective ointment, such as lacrilube, right before you go to bed.

Does this make sense to you?

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Customer: replied 5 years ago.
My vision is not blurred, no double vision, & not painful. I don't think it sticks out more, it's more open than the other eye. I want to know it there's an over the counter drops or is there something I can do in the mean time before seeing my eye specialist?
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
It is very possible to only have one eye appear only more open from the conditions I've reviewed. In any event, a complete eye exam by the ophthalmologist should be able to pinpoint the cause.

The best thing you can do, first of all, is try not to worry too much. Next, you should protect the eye from drying out (since it is more open then the other eye) by using tear replacement drops as often as needed.

Then ask your partner to look at you while you sleep and see if your eye is fully closed. If it is not, or if your eye feels uncomfortable etc in the morning, you should protect your eye with ointment at night. I've had patients who needed to tape their eyelids closed at night but, from what you have said, I don't believe you will need to do this.

Are there any other questions I can answer for my Northern friend, eh? :o)
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 5 years ago.
These OTC drops are available under many names: Refresh, Tears Natural, Bion Tears -- the least expensive ones are the best. This is also true for the lubricating ointment....refresh PM is one name; lacrilube is another.

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