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Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), also known as Graves’ orbitopathy or Graves’ ophthalmopathy, is an autoimmune condition characterized by inflammation and swelling of the tissues around the eyes. It often occurs in individuals with an overactive thyroid gland (hyperthyroidism) due to Graves’ disease. TED can cause various symptoms, including bulging eyes, double vision, eye pain, dryness, redness, and difficulty closing the eyes.

Causes of Thyroid Eye Disease

Thyroid Eye Disease is caused by an autoimmune reaction where the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks the tissues around the eyes. This immune response is often triggered by Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that leads to overactivity of the thyroid gland. However, not all individuals with Graves’ disease develop TED, and the exact cause of the condition remains unclear.

Symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease

The symptoms of TED can vary widely from mild to severe and may include:

  • Bulging or protruding eyes (exophthalmos)
  • Swelling and inflammation of the eyelids
  • Redness and irritation of the eyes
  • Double vision (diplopia)
  • Difficulty moving the eyes
  • Sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Dryness or gritty sensation in the eyes
  • Difficulty closing the eyes completely
  • Pain or pressure behind the eyes

Treatment Options for Thyroid Eye Disease

The treatment of TED depends on the severity of the condition and its impact on vision and eye health. Treatment options may include:

  • Conservative Management: Mild cases of TED may be managed with lubricating eye drops, artificial tears, and wearing sunglasses to alleviate symptoms.
  • Medical Therapy: In more moderate cases, medications such as corticosteroids or immunosuppressants may be prescribed to reduce inflammation and swelling.
  • Surgery: Severe or vision-threatening TED may require surgical intervention. Surgical options may include orbital decompression to alleviate pressure on the eyes, eyelid surgery to correct eyelid retraction or ptosis, or strabismus surgery to correct double vision.
  • Radiotherapy: Radiotherapy may be considered in some cases to reduce inflammation and swelling around the eyes.
  • Thyroid Treatment: Treating the underlying thyroid disorder, often through medications, radioactive iodine therapy, or surgery, may help control TED symptoms.

Frequently Asked Questions about Thyroid Eye Disease

Contact Us for Your Personalized Consultation

For personalized evaluation and comprehensive treatment of Thyroid Eye Disease tailored to your specific needs, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kian Eftekhari at Eyelid Center of Utah. Our experienced team is dedicated to providing compassionate care and innovative solutions to address your concerns and improve your quality of life. Take the first step towards managing your Thyroid Eye Disease effectively by contacting us today.

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