Popeye in fish also called exophthalmus, proptosis, exorbitism, exophthalmia, or exophthalmos is not a specific discus disease itself but describes a condition and can be a symptom of an illness or infection in fish. Pope-eye disease/condition is bulging and swelling of one or both eyes of the aquarium fish. Although it is not difﬁcult to treat the discus popeye, early diagnosis is crucial for successful treatment of the disease. Popeye in discus is sometimes taken mistakenly as cloudy eye condition which is similar to pop-eye especially in its early stages. Discus pop eye is generally not contagious and usually can be treated with wide spectrum antibiotics which are effective against eye infections. It is not always the case though.[caption id="attachment_579" align="alignnone" width="300"] Popeye in Discus Fish, Pop-Eye is Swelling and Bulging of one or both Discus Fish Eyes[/caption]
Popeye Identification in Discus Fish
One or both eyes of the discus fish bulge outwards. Like cloudy eye, first symptoms is the outer surface of the fish’s eye which may be white or cloudy. If only one eye is protruding then it is known as unilateral Popeye that is easier to treat, but when both discus eyes are protruding this is called bilateral Popeye that usually implies serious bacterial infection which indicates that the condition is harder to cure. Swelling of the discus’s eye occurs when the fluid produced inside the eye doesn’t drain properly, causing a buildup of painful pressure within the eye, forcing the discus’s eyeball outward. If this fluid buildup and pressure is left untreated, it will cause severe bacterial infection in the eyes, and the eventual result will be blindness and death.[caption id="attachment_604" align="alignnone" width="300"] Discus Popeye From Different Angles, Protruding Eyeball in Discus Eye[/caption]
Discus Popeye Treatment and Cure
As mentioned before, If this problem is not detected soon after it is caught, the discus can lose the eyesight in one or both of its eyes. So once you realize that your discus is having the Popeye condition, follow the instructions below ASAP:
- First of all, you need to do a heavy water change. Sometimes the pope-eye condition is nothing but a sign of poor water quality especially in cases which only one eye is swollen or there are more than one fish affected.
- Adding salt into the water provides numerous benefits including reducing stress and prevention of some secondary infections during the treatment period.
- Using broad spectrum antibiotics especially those that are effective on eye infections is the best cure for this condition. Neomycin, Kanamycin, and Erythromycin are just some of the best examples.
Edited by Babak Ajideh