Graves and thyroid disease are autoimmune disorders that affect the thyroid gland and cause inflammation of the muscles and tissue around the eyes. This can lead to conditions such as bulging eyes, double vision, dry eyes, and eye pain.
Graves disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland, causing an overproduction of thyroid hormone. Its symptoms include weight loss, anxiety, heat intolerance, sweating, and rapid heartbeat. Two main types of thyroid diseases affect the thyroid gland:
Hypothyroidism - It occurs when not enough thyroid hormone is produced by the thyroid gland to meet the body’s needs. This can lead to symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, hair loss, depression, and cold intolerance.
Hyperthyroidism - It happens when too much thyroid hormone is produced by the thyroid gland. Symptoms include weight loss, rapid heartbeat, anxiety, tremors, heat intolerance, and sweating.
To decompress the eye inflammation caused by these autoimmune diseases, your eye doctor may suggest undergoing oculoplastic surgery. This field of plastic surgery reconstructs the eyelids, eyebrows, tear ducts, and orbital cavities.
Symptoms of Graves’ or Thyroid Eye Disease
The most common symptoms of eye diseases caused by Graves' disease include:
Pain in the eye when looking up, down, or sideways
Redness in the eye and lids
Swelling in upper and lower eyelids
Symptoms for eye diseases caused by Graves' and thyroid disease are usually misdiagnosed as allergy or conjunctivitis. Important signs that your eye condition may be due to an autoimmune disease include pain with eye movement and double vision.
Diagnosis for Graves’ or Thyroid Eye Disease
Your physician might recommend visiting an eye doctor if you know you have Graves'' or thyroid problems. To examine your eyes for bulging and enlarged muscles, an eye specialist will perform a regular eye exam, which may include the following tests:
Visual field tests
Eye pressure tests
Optic nerve tests
Treatment for Graves’ or Thyroid Eye Disease
Treatment for swelling around the eye tissue caused by Graves' or thyroid disease will depend on the severity of the condition. Eye drops, avoiding irritants, and monitoring may be required for mild cases.
For severe cases, your eye doctor may suggest undergoing oculoplastic surgery. Oculoplasty is a field of plastic surgery that reconstructs the eyelids, eyebrows, tear ducts, and orbital cavity. Common oculoplastic surgeries include the following:
Eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) removes excess skin and fat from the upper and lower eyelids to improve the functionality and appearance of the eyes.
Ptosis surgery corrects drooping eyelids by tightening the muscles that surround the eye and orbital cavity.
A brow lift helps to lift the eyebrows and reduce wrinkles and sagging skin around the eyes.
Orbital surgery treats fractures and tumors in the socket surrounding the eye.
Tear duct surgery treats tear duct blockages, which can cause excessive tearing or infections.
Recovery After Eye Surgery
The recovery time and side effects after eye surgery depend on your unique health conditions and the specific surgical procedure required. The side effects that may appear after surgery are the following:
Most patients can return to regular activities within a few days after surgery. However, full recovery can take up to six weeks.
Graves or Thyroid Eye Disease Treatment in New York
EyesNY offers treatment to help patients dealing with eye conditions caused by graves'' or thyroid disease. Our specialized team of ophthalmologists is ready to assess your needs and give you the high-quality vision care you deserve.
We work with cutting-edge technology to identify the root cause of your condition and create personalized treatment plans. Our caring staff is ready to welcome you and meet your ocular health and vision needs.
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