Thyroid Eye Disease

Thyroid Eye Disease

Thyroid Eye Disease can cause ocular manifestations associated with thyroid dysfunction (high, low, or normal thyroid function). Symptoms of hyperthyroid can cause weight loss, irregular heartbeat, and/or irritability. Symptoms of hypothyroid can be fatigue, weight gain, and/or swelling of tissues. Your primary care physician, endocrinologist, ophthalmologist, and oculofacial surgeon will work all together to help manage the different signs and symptoms of thyroid eye disease. A complete eye exam, lab work, visual fields, and imaging may be needed at regular intervals to monitor your disease state.

Common ocular symptoms of thyroid eye disease are as follows:

  • Bulging eyes
  • Lid retraction
  • Tearing
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Swollen conjunctive
  • Light sensitivity
  • Dry eyes
  • Double vision
  • Difficulty closing the eyelids
  • Corneal damage (dryness, abrasion, ulcer)
  • Compression of the optic nerve
Thyroid Eye Disease

Treatment of Thyroid Eye Disease

Treatment can range from lubrication with artificial teardrops, inflammation-controlling eye drops (Restasis®, Xiidra®), and/or punctual plugs. Inflammation may need to be addressed with oral steroids or monoclonal antibody treatments. In more severe cases of thyroid eye disease, surgical treatment may be recommended which includes a customized orbital decompression procedure depending on the degree of proptosis with lid malposition corrections. Strabismus specialists are often times involved in the care of thyroid patients due to muscle imbalances, which can cause double vision that can occur as part of the disease process.

A recently FDA-approved infusion therapy for active thyroid eye disease patients has also been a very promising treatment.

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