ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ZEPHYR / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Bulging eyes in thyrotoxicosis. Coloured computed tomography (CT) scan of a section through the head, at eye level, of a 51 year old with thyrotoxicosis. The eyeballs (blue, top), are bulging from their sockets, a condition known as exophthalmos, due to pressure from swollen tissue behind the eyes. This is caused by thyrotoxicosis, also called Grave's disease, an autoimmune disorder that leads to the overstimulation of the thyroid gland and overproduction of thyroid hormones. Treatment is with drugs to suppress thyroid activity or surgery to relieve the pressure behind the eyes.
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