Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)
Graves’ disease, an autoimmune condition, has a common symptom in the form of eye disease. Graves’ disease usually affects the thyroid, but can also affect the eyes and skin. Thyroid in the human body is a butterfly-shaped gland situated right at the base of the neck.
Increased secretion of hormones (hyperthyroidism) and abnormal enlargement of the thyroid (goiter) characterize Graves’ disease. Thyroid eye disease eventually develops in many patients suffering from Graves’ disease.
Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics, led by oculoplastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan, provides safe and proven eye care procedures to patients in Austin, Dallas, Texas, and surrounding locations.
Signs and Symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease
Signs and symptoms of this disease vary vastly from one person to the next. Eye conditions can be anywhere from mild to severe. For certain individuals, the condition can result in disfigurement of the eye socket, pain, and loss of eyesight.
Graves’ eye disease can differ in terms of expression as well. The disorder remains unchanged for several people over the years while for others it improves or worsens. Remission or exacerbations of the disease are rare though.
Thyroid eye disease is defined as a progressive disorder. There is progressive damage in this condition to the tissues surrounding the eyes, which can result in tissue remodeling and scarring (fibrosis).
Causes of Graves’ Eye Disease
Graves’ eye disease and its exact underlying process are not yet understood fully. However, people with the condition are known to have a compromised immune system that creates thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin (an abnormal antibody).
Thyroid-stimulating immunoglobulin is very good at mimicking the functioning of regular thyroid stimulating hormone produced normally in the thyroid. It is believed that these abnormal antibodies negatively impact the cells around the eyes, causing characteristic symptoms commonly associated with thyroid eye disease.
Treatment of Thyroid Eye Disease
Corticosteroids may be recommended for people with moderate to severe symptoms. These drugs help in reducing swelling and inflammation. However, they do not affect proptosis and diplopia. Prednisone is the commonly used corticosteroid to help people with thyroid eye disease.
Surgery may be the only option for few people with moderate to severe symptoms. It is preferred usually to avoid surgery until the disorder’s active phase has ended. Doctors try treating individual symptoms until the swelling and inflammation reduces. Surgery may be carried out if the doctor believes the condition to be progressing into becoming sight threatening.
Motility, orbital decompression, and lid surgery are few popular surgical options. Your surgeon will remove the bone between the sinuses and the eye socket (orbit) during orbital decompression surgery to allow the eye to fall back naturally into position. The surgery is reserved for patients that are at a high risk of loss of vision because of pressure on the optic nerve.
Surgical options can also help correct position of the eyelids and bulging eyes (proptosis). Certain muscles around the eyes are repositioned during motility surgery. Board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Tanya Khan receives patients from Austin, Dallas, Texas, and nearby areas for innovative and advanced eye care treatments.
Contact Khan Eyelid and Facial Aesthetics and Oculoplastic & Reconstructive Surgeon Dr. Tanya Khan Today to Schedule an Appointment
Offices in Dallas, Plano and Austin, Texas.