The same auto-immune response that causes people to have thyroid problems can affect the tissue in the eye area, leading to Graves’ disease, or thyroid eye disease. Thyroid eye disease can cause a great deal of discomfort for sufferers, can cause the eyes to look bulging or saggy, and can even lead to vision problems if not treated.
An oculoplastic surgeon with experience treating thyroid eye disease can diagnose and treat these symptoms. With over 27 years of experience, Dr. Geoffrey Kwitko, M.D., is one of the most respected oculoplastic surgeons serving the Ft. Myers, FL area. He has dedicated much of his research and clinical practice to the treatment of thyroid eye disease, and has earned international recognition for his work with patients suffering from thyroid-related eye problems. As a clinical assistant professor of ophthalmology at the University of South Florida and the editor-in-chief of the Electronic Journal of the Neuro-Ophthalmic Surgical Society, he has stayed at the forefront of research in the field, and employs the most up-to-date surgical techniques and technology with each procedure.
Thyroid eye disease symptoms can vary depending on the degree to which the disease has progressed. The most common symptoms include feelings of pressure in the eye sockets, redness and excessive watering, retraction of the eyelids, double vision, dryness, difficulty closing the eyes completely, double vision, light sensitivity, and proptosis (bulging of the eyes).
Early intervention can mean better treatment outcomes and less discomfort for the patient, so if you have a history of thyroid problems and are experiencing eye discomfort, it is important that you consult with an oculoplastic surgeon as soon as possible.
Treatment for thyroid eye disease can range from eye drops and prescription medications to surgical intervention, depending on the needs of the patient. In mild to moderate cases, eyelid retraction surgery can make it easier for patients to close their eyes completely, and improve the look of the eyes. This procedure is usually done on an outpatient basis under local anesthetic, and recovery time is minimal.
In more advanced cases, where swelling of the tissue surrounding the eye is putting pressure on the optic nerve and causing vision problems, orbital decompression surgery is often recommended. This procedure involves moving the bones in the eye area to relieve pressure on the optic nerve. Orbital decompression surgery is also done as an outpatient procedure, but is usually performed under general anesthesia.
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