Thursday, April 26, 2007

A sight for sore eyes

It's good to get pictures from readers, so here's one sent in by Angela the pharmacist. She was telling me about a book she had (Eyes by Michael Glasspool) with a picture that she found difficult to look at - so she sent me it, and now I can share it with you.
The condition above is probably as bad as it gets for someone with an overactive thyroid. The eyeballs are protruding (exophthalmos). Because of this, movement is restricted (ophthalmoplegia), and there is a lot of fluid retention in the tissues (oedema). This poor chap will be unable to close his eyelids, so his cornea will be permanently exposed to the elements. The tear film will dry and his corneas will be at high risk of abrasion and ulceration. He will require constant lubrication, and reduction of his thyroid production - possibly by thyroidectomy.
Once the thyroid has been dealt with, he will probably require corneal transplants if there is too much damage to his corneas.


Kim said...

Whoa, that has GOT to hurt, badly! My eyes are watering and burning! hp

codeblog said...

So if the thyroid is removed, will the orbs go back down in size?

Deacon Barry said...

Yes. It is the excess thyroxine that causes the body to metabolise the fatty tissue behind the eyelids, causing them to retract and give rise to the exophthalmos. But by this time the corneas will probably be damaged by exposure.