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Exophthalmos Medication

  • Author: Michael Mercandetti, MD, MBA, FACS; Chief Editor: Hampton Roy, Sr, MD  more...
Updated: May 13, 2016

Medication Summary

The goals of pharmacotherapy are to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications.


Lubricants, Ophthalmic

Class Summary

Lubricants act as humectants in the eye. The ideal artificial lubricant should be preservative-free  and have a polymeric system to increase its retention time. Lubricating drops are used to reduce morbidity and to prevent complications. Lubricating ointments prevent complications from dry eyes.

Artificial tears (Celluvisc, Murine, Refresh, Tears Naturale)


Contains equivalent of 0.9% NaCl and maintains ocular tonicity. Acts to stabilize and thicken precorneal tear film and prolongs tear film breakup time, which occurs with dry eye states.

Polyethylene glycol 400/propylene glycol ophthalmic (Systane Balance, Systane Ultra, Tears Naturale Free, Hypo Tears, Murine Tears)


These substances serve as lubricants.

Carboxymethylcellulose ophthalmic (Refresh Optive Gel Drops, TheraTears Nighttime Dry Eye Therapy)


Carboxymethylcellulose is used to protect and lubricate mucous membranes surfaces and relieve dryness and irritation.

Hypromellose/carboxymethylcellulose ophthalmic (Genteal Lubricant Eye Drops, Moderate-to-Severe)


Increases lubrication of the eye, which in turn prevents complications and reduces morbidity.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Michael Mercandetti, MD, MBA, FACS Private Practice

Michael Mercandetti, MD, MBA, FACS is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Sarasota County Medical Society, American Academy of Ophthalmology, American College of Surgeons, American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery, American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Association of Military Surgeons of the US

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.


Adam J Cohen, MD Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology, Section Director of Oculoplastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Rush Medical College of Rush University Medical Center

Adam J Cohen, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, American College of Surgeons

Disclosure: Serve(d) as a director, officer, partner, employee, advisor, consultant or trustee for: BioD, Poferious<br/>Serve(d) as a speaker or a member of a speakers bureau for: IOP<br/>Received income in an amount equal to or greater than $250 from: IOP for speaking.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

J James Rowsey, MD Former Director of Corneal Services, St Luke's Cataract and Laser Institute

J James Rowsey, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Association for the Advancement of Science, American Medical Association, Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Florida Medical Association, Sigma Xi, Southern Medical Association, Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

Hampton Roy, Sr, MD Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Ophthalmology, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

Hampton Roy, Sr, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American College of Surgeons, Pan-American Association of Ophthalmology

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Additional Contributors

Brian A Phillpotts, MD, MD 

Brian A Phillpotts, MD, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Diabetes Association, American Medical Association, National Medical Association

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Bilateral exophthalmos and upper lid retraction secondary to Graves disease.
Exophthalmos due to thyroid dysfunction. The patient has significant forward protrusion of the eyes with bilateral upper- and lower-lid retraction. Image courtesy of Adam J. Cohen, MD.
Exophthalmos due to thyroid dysfunction. The patient has significant forward protrusion of the eyes and bilateral upper- and lower-lid retraction. Also note conjunctival injection, especially of the right inferomedial conjunctiva. Image courtesy of Adam J. Cohen, MD.
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