EXOPTHALMIA ("POPEYE")

Exopthalmia, or "popeye", describes the protrusion of one or both of the fish's eyes. It is a sypmtom, rather than an illness itself, and has a few possible underlying causes.

Male betta with bilateral (both sides) exopthalmia, or "popeye". Note also the whitish/cloudy slime visible on the right eye. This is indicative of a bacterial infection (specifically, Columnaris). This fish was successfully treated with antibiotics, making a full recovery.

Symptoms

  • Swelling/protrusion of one or both eyes
  • Symptoms of a BACTERIAL INFECTION
  • Likely general signs of illness, such as lethargy, refusal to eat, faded coloration, etc.

Causes

  • Bacterial infection on/near the eyes
  • Internal bacterial infection with fluid retention/increased internal pressure (DROPSY)
  • GAS BUBBLE DISEASE

Treatment

Determining the underlying cause of popeye is important and will influence the treatment course followed.

  • If a BACTERIAL INFECTION is supsected, see our page about this to determine the treatment to follow.

Prevention