Ask an Eye M.D. Answer Archive

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Question:
One of my eyes looks smaller than the other but I think it's just sitting back more in the socket than the other. Are there any exercises or treatments to bring the eye forward?

Answer:
Most people who come to me with a complaint that one eye is getting smaller are actually noticing a lowering of the upper eyelid. This can come from neurologic (nerve) problems, weakness of the muscle and/or its tendon, disinsertion of the tendon (common as we age), excess upper eyelid skin (sometimes associated with fat pad prolapse), or weakness and drooping of the forehead. Please consult your ophthalmologist (Eye M.D.) who can examine you and recommend an appropriate course of action.

At the same time, he or she can actually measure to see if the eye is truly sunken. This can sometimes occur after an eye injury, weeks to months later, but is otherwise rare. After a Bell's Palsy, the appearance of a sunken eye can be noted.

Finally, sometimes the opposite eye is bulging, making the other eye seem to be sunken. Commonly, this is a sign of Grave's disease, but can also be caused by space-occupying disorders of the orbit (eye socket).

Again, simple examination by an ophthalmologist can determine what's causing your eye to appear smaller, or whether you indeed have a smaller eye (which is almost never actually present).   

Answered by: Richard G. Shugarman, MDDr. Richard Shugarman

Categories: General Eye Health

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Answered: Feb 20, 2013

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