Graves’ disease, or thyroid eye disease, is a condition that often accompanies other thyroid problems. The same auto-immune response that causes the body’s immune system to attack the thyroid gland can also affect the eyes, causing great discomfort for sufferers, giving the eyes an unappealing look, and potentially causing loss of vision. If you have a history of thyroid issues and have experienced eye discomfort, difficulty closing your eyes, or bulging or sagging eye lids, it is wise to consult with an oculoplastic surgeon with experience treating thyroid eye disease.
With over 27 years of experience, Dr. Geoffrey Kwitko, M.D., is one of Florida’s top oculoplastic surgeons, and has treated countless patients in New Port Richey and surrounding communities. 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, Dr. Kwitko stays at the forefront of research in the field, and has earned international recognition for his work treating patients with thyroid eye disease.
Symptoms of thyroid eye disease can vary between patients and the degree to which their condition has progressed. The most common symptoms are retraction of the eyelids, dryness, double vision, bulging of the eyes, difficulty closing the eyes completely, redness and watering, swelling of the eyelids, and feelings of pressure in the eye sockets.
If you have a history of thyroid problems and have experienced any of the symptoms of thyroid eye disease, it is important that you have your eyes checked. Early intervention can mean better treatment results and decreased discomfort for patients.
There are a number of treatments available for thyroid eye disease. In mild cases, treatment may be as simple as eye drops or prescription medication. Eyelid retraction surgery can not only improve the look of the eyes, but can make it easier for a patient to close his or her eyes completely. Eyelid retraction surgery is performed as an outpatient treatment, usually under local anesthesia.
In more serious cases where the tissue surrounding the eye has swollen enough that it is putting pressure on the optic nerve, ocular decompression surgery may be necessary to prevent loss of vision and relieve discomfort. By moving the bones around the eye area, a surgeon can release pressure on the optic nerve. Ocular decompression is also performed as an outpatient treatment, but is usually done under general anesthesia.
Don’t wait for symptoms to worsen to consult with an oculoplastic surgeon