Thyroid eye disease (TED) is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the fatty tissue and muscles behind your eyes. While it’s not common in the general population, it affects about 40% of people with Graves’ disease — a condition marked by an overactive thyroid.
While TED symptoms can be bothersome both physically and emotionally, effective treatment is available.
At our offices in Scarsdale and the Upper East Side of Manhattan, New York, board-certified cosmetic surgeon Robert Schwarcz, MD, and his team offer TEPEZZA® infusions to improve your eye health and correct or prevent thyroid-related vision problems. Here’s what to expect from TEPEZZA treatment.
Thyroid eye disease symptoms
The inflammation brought on by thyroid eye disease can cause a range of symptoms that range from relatively mild to quite severe in intensity.
Signs you may be dealing with TED include:
- A gritty sensation in your eyes
- Bags under your eyes
- Blurred or double vision
- Bright light sensitivity
- Eyes that appear to be constantly staring or bulging
- Difficulty moving your eyes
- Dry or watery eyes
- Pain in or behind your eyes
- Red eyes and eyelids
- Swelling or puffiness in your upper eyelids
You should see a doctor immediately for severely blurred vision, double vision, and worsening symptoms.
How TEPEZZA infusions can help
TEPEZZA infusions are unique in that they address the underlying cause of thyroid eye disease versus merely addressing your symptoms. The special formulation blocks IGF-1R, an insulin-like growth factor receptor that fuels TED, so inflamed tissues behind your eye improve and present fewer symptoms.
In a study involving 31 patients with chronic TED, 28 patients had little to no eye pain, redness, or swelling after completing a standard series of TEPEZZA infusions. For 18 of the participants, symptoms completely diminished post-treatment.
What to expect during TEPEZZA treatment
Dr. Schwarcz partners with oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Raymond Douglas to offer TEPEZZA to reduce symptoms and your risk of serious complications. If you’re approved for the treatment, you can expect the process to take about five months. Doctors commonly prescribe eight infusions, or one every three weeks.
During the infusion appointment, which takes 60-90 minutes, you relax in a comfortable chair as you receive the medication intravenously. Your care team monitors your well-being during your treatment and can slow or stop the infusion if you should have a reaction to the medication.
After about two treatment sessions, you can expect reduced double vision and less eye-bulging, and your symptoms should continue to improve over the course of treatment.
To learn more about TEPEZZA infusions for thyroid eye disease or find out if you’re a good candidate, book a consultation at Robert Schwarcz, MD, today. Call the office convenient to you or request an appointment online.