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exophthalmos ex·oph·thal·mos (ěk'səf-thāl'məs)
Abnormal protrusion of the eyeball.
abnormal protrusion of one or both eyeballs. The most common cause for unilateral or bilateral exophthalmos is thyroid eye disease, or Graves ophthalmopathy. The proptosis arises from inflammation, cellular proliferation, and accumulation of fluid in the tissues that surround the eyeball in its socket, or orbit. The vast majority of people with Graves ophthalmopathy also have (or will later develop) thyroid dysfunction. Other causes of exophthalmos include other orbital inflammatory conditions, spread of infection from the paranasal sinuses or teeth, trauma, various orbital tumours, and vascular (blood vessel) abnormalities of the orbit. It should also be noted that "prominent" eyes can be a normal inherited trait in certain families