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Thyroid Eye Disease Treatment

woman getting an eye exam

Thyroid eye disease (TED), also referred to as Graves’ eye disease, is an autoimmune condition that causes swelling of the muscles and other tissues around the eye. This swelling, or inflammation, leads to damage of these tissues. There is an active/inflammatory phase of TED and a stable phase. The active phase can last from a few months up to three years, and the stable phase occurs afterward, when active inflammation has ceased. The Holtebeck Eye Center in Brookfield has the expertise to properly diagnose and provide the best thyroid eye disease treatment plan for you. 

Thyroid Eye Disease Risks & Symptoms 

There are some common risk factors for TED. Women more frequently develop TED, and the median age of diagnosis is 43 years old. Additionally, your risk increases if you have a family history of thyroid eye disease as well as low levels of selenium in your blood. 

There are also several potential symptoms of thyroid eye disease. In terms of what you might feel, symptoms include dry, watery, and irritated eyes. You might also experience double vision and pain with eye movements. And in terms of appearance, your eyes may look like they are bulging or red and appear to stagnantly stare when you do not intend to. While these symptoms will generally manifest in both eyes at once, there have been cases of patients developing TED-related issues in only one eye. 

Diagnosis & Treatment Options

To properly diagnose thyroid eye disease, we turn to a few different options. Most commonly, a simple eye and eyelid exam will be conducted. Then, if Dr. Holtebeck sees potential indicators of TED, he will ask that your blood be tested for thyroid hormone levels and antibodies. The exam along with the blood tests usually provide enough information for diagnosis. However, other, additional options include eye ultrasounds, computer tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging.

As for treatment, the options generally fall into one of three categories: lifestyle changes, medication, and/or surgery. For lifestyle changes, you may be able to stop smoking, use cool compresses, wear sunglasses, and other fairly simple daily adjustments to make a big impact on your eye health. The most commonly prescribed medication for TED treatment is anti-inflammatory drugs to bring down tissue swelling. For some patients, we have begun to prescribe a new medical treatment called Tepezza. In more advanced cases, we may recommend eyelid, eye muscle, or orbital decompression surgery. Each of these options addresses TED in slightly different ways, depending on your prominent symptoms. 

Come To The Holtebeck Eye Center For Thyroid Eye Disease Treatment

If you have any of the symptoms described here or any other issues with your eyes, it is time to see Dr. Holtebeck. He will check your overall eye health, diagnose any major problems such as TED, and determine the best treatment plan for you. As with all eye care, an early diagnosis is the most significant step you can take for the most positive outcomes. Book an appointment at The Holtebeck Eye Center in Brookfield today to discuss thyroid eye disease treatment.