Thyroid Eye Disease
Patients with thyroid disease (hyperactive more commonly than underactive) frequently develop eye findings consistent with bulging eyes or a “thyroid stare.” In some cases, eye muscle movement may also be restricted, preventing the eyes from moving effectively and sometimes even resulting in double vision. If the muscles become too congested or if the eye bulges too much, pressure could be placed on the optic nerve putting the patient at risk for blindness.
Thyroid Eye Disease Treatment
Much of the discomfort associated with thyroid orbitopathy is usually related to exposure of the cornea, which may be treated with various forms of lubrication. When there is active inflammation and more significant symptoms, the treatment may involve oral or intra orbital (injected behind the eye by a certified surgeon) steroids. When the eye is bulging and pressure is placed on the optic nerve, an orbital decompression procedure can be performed. Orbital decompression involves surgically removing small portions of bone and fat from behind the eye to ease the pressure of the bulging eye. Alternatively, eyelid evening surgery can be performed. Poor eye alignment causing double vision can be corrected by surgically adjusting the position of the eye muscles as they come in contact with the eyeball.
One effect of thyroid orbitopathy is that the eyelids become retracted (upper or lower) causing what it is commonly referred to as the “thyroid stare”. This symptom can be surgically corrected and will allow for improved closure of the eyelids and an overall enhanced cosmetic appearance in addition to physical comfort. This procedure can be performed in conjunction with eyelid blepharoplasty for dramatic results.
There is a new incredible antibody infusion treatment that our practice offers as well, called Tepezza. Tepezza reduces eye bulging and double vision while improving the signs and symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), including eye pain, redness, and swelling. TEPEZZA is a prescription medicine used to treat TED.