Eye Tumors

Eye tumors/ Bulging eyes

 mole on white part Eye Tumors

Tumors can affect any part of our body including the eyes and the structures around it. When arising from the eye, they are called Ocular tumors, which may be

  • Ocular surface tumors
  • Intraocular tumors

When arising from surrounding structures, they are called

  • Adnexal tumors (Eyelid tumors, lacrimal tumors)
  • Orbital tumors

They can be either benign or cancerous.

They commonly appear as a growth or cause bulging of eyes, when it is present behind the eye, pushing it forwards.

Dr. Sneha had undertaken specialised training in Orbit and Ocular Oncology. Although these are relatively uncommon, with years of experience and referral based practise, Dr.Sneha has managed over 600 cases of Eye tumors and cancers.

What causes Proptosis/ bulging eyes?

Common causes of Proptosis/bulging eyes include:

  • Thyroid eye disease
  • Lymphoma
  • Hemangioma
  • Cyst
  • Orbital inflammatory disease
  • Cancers, such as adenoid cystic carcinoma, hemangiopericytoma, rhabdomyosacrcoma etc

What are the symptoms of bulging eyes?

Patient may experience heaviness of eyes, double vision, swelling around the eyes, eyelid drooping and/or pain. Rarely, it can cause diminution or even total loss of vision.

How to find out what is the cause of the Proptosis/bulging eyes?

Dr.Sneha will perform a thorough eye examination in the clinic. Depending on the findings she may request for further investigations including Blood tests, Ultrasound and CT/MRI Scan. These tests help characterize the cause, but many a times, a biopsy may be needed to establish the diagnosis.

What is the treatment for Proptosis/bulging eyes?

Once the diagnosis is determined, the treatment is tailored. Inflammatory causes and infections are amenable to oral/ injectable medications. A tumor is completely excised when possible.If too much collateral damage is anticipated, a part of it may be excised, for diagnosis and then treated with radiation or chemotherapy. Radical surgery and reconstruction may be needed for advanced and aggressive cancers


It is a bacterial infection of the soft tissue of the structures surrounding the eye. The source of infection is usually the lacrimal sac and sinuses, but it may also be following trauma/ surgery/ Stye/ hematogenous spread from a source elsewhere in the body. It should be treated with utmost care and urgency, under the watchful eyes of an experienced Oculoplastic Surgeon, as its complications can be disastrous.

Abscess :

Sometimes, pockets of pus may collect and get walled off within the orbit. These become refractory to antibiotics as the medicine is unable to reach the infected site. In these cases, it becomes imperative to operate and drain the abscess. Utmost care has to be taken not to damage any of the normal structures while doing so.

Parasitic infections

It is uncommon, to have parasitic cysts in the orbit, but it should be considered, especially in endemic areas, including India. These can be Cysticercosis, hydatid cyst.

Fungal infections:

Fungus is present in the natural environment, but it can cause an infection when it reaches certain areas, particularly when the immune status of the patient is compromised, like in diabetics, or patients on long term steroids. Fungal infections can cause extensive damage to the surrounding tissue, potentially leading to vision loss and even death, if timely intervention is not initiated.


Orbital tuberculosis can have varied manifestations and should be kept in mind while dealing with orbital infections.

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