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Thyrotoxicosis. Front view of the eyes of a man with thyrotoxicosis. The left eye is bulging and facing down, causing vertical diplopia (double vision). Bulging of the eye (exophthalmos) is caused by pressure from swollen tissue behind the eye, which in this case was due to an overactive thyroid gland. The most common cause of thyroid overactivity is Graves' disease (also called thyrotoxicosis), an autoimmune disorder in which the body develops antibodies that stimulate the thyroid to produce excessive amounts of hormones. Treatment includes drugs or surgery to suppress thyroid activity and, in some cases, surgery to relieve pressure behind the eye.
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