Graves’ disease, or thyroid eye disease, is a serious condition that can occur when the body’s immune system attacks the thyroid gland. This same response affects the tissue surrounding the eyes, including the eyelids, causing a number of uncomfortable symptoms for sufferers. Thyroid eye disease can make it difficult for the eyelids to completely retract, causing eye dryness, irritation, unsightly bulging of the eyes, and difficulty closing the eyes completely. If you suffer from Graves’ disease, it is important that you consult with a knowledgeable oculoplastic surgeon who can assess your symptoms and provide surgical treatment to address them.
With over 27 years of experience, Dr. Geoffrey M. Kwitko, M.D., is one of the most trusted oculoplastic surgeons serving the St Petersburg, Florida area. As a clinical assistant professor at the University of South Florida and the editor-in-chief of the Electronic Journal of the Neuro-Ophthalmic Surgical Society, Dr. Kwitko’s credentials make him one of the nation’s top oculoplastic surgeons specializing in thyroid eye disease.
The nature and degree of thyroid eye disease symptoms can vary from patient to patient, often depending on how long it has gone untreated. The most common symptoms are retraction of the eyelids, difficulty closing the eyes completely, dry eyes, redness or irritation, excessive eye watering, bulging of the eyes, swelling of the eyelids and surrounding tissue, double vision, blindness, or sensitivity to light.
Early intervention can mean better outcomes for patients, so if you live in the St. Petersburg, FL area and are experiencing symptoms of thyroid eye disease, schedule a consultation with Dr. Kwitko. In some cases, surgery may not be necessary, and treatment may involve as little as regular application of lubricant to the eye to reduce dryness and irritation or prescription medication.
In mild or moderate cases of thyroid eye disease, eyelid retraction surgery can help the eyelids move more easily, and improve the appearance of your eyes by reducing swelling of the eyelids and surrounding tissue and bulging of the eyes. This is performed as an outpatient procedure, usually using local anesthetic, and recovery time is minimal.
In more severe cases of thyroid eye disease, where tissue has swollen to the point that it is putting pressure on the optical nerve and causing vision problems, an orbital decompression procedure can help. Moving the bones around the eye area can give swelling tissue room to move into the sinuses, reducing pressure on the eyes.
Don’t wait for symptoms to worsen before contacting a skilled oculoplastic surgeon who can effectively treat the symptoms of your thyroid eye disease.
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