Thyroid Eye Disease

Are you looking for dedicated eye care professionals to help manage your thyroid eye disease? At The Medical Eye Center, Dr. Slentz has extensive experience treating those with thyroid eye disease and is committed to providing you with the best care available. 

What is Thyroid Eye Disease?

Thyroid eye disease is an eye condition in which the eye muscles, fatty tissues, tear glands, and eyelids develop inflammation. This eye condition can occur in people with overactive, underactive, or completely normal thyroid function. 

It can also occur in people who have Graves’ disease. Both Graves’ disease and thyroid eye disease are autoimmune disorders that cause your body’s immune system to attack itself. 

Although people who have Graves’ disease may develop thyroid eye disease, they do not always develop the condition. Those who have both conditions will need separate treatment for each disease.

In addition to this, you can develop thyroid eye disease without having Graves’ disease. People with thyroid eye disease need to be cared for by an eye doctor to ensure eye health and prevent vision loss. 

If left untreated, thyroid eye disease can cause vision loss and change in color vision. 

What Are The Symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease?

Although symptoms may vary from person to person, the most common symptoms are:

  • Blurred or double vision
  • Bulging of the eyes
  • Redness in your eyelids or eyes
  • Pain in or behind the eyes
  • Increased dryness of the eyes
  • Difficulty closing your eyes
  • Increased tearing

Whether or not you have any known thyroid issues, it’s best to visit your eye doctor if you notice any of these symptoms. If your eye doctor suspects that you may have thyroid eye disease, they will want you to see your primary care doctor for further testing.

How Do Eye Doctors Test For and Treat Thyroid Eye Disease?

Your eye doctor uses various tools to test for thyroid eye disease if certain signs and symptoms are present. They may take photos of your eyes, including ones inside your eyes that examine the retina at the back of your eye. 

They will also examine your eyes to look for swelling of the eye’s muscles. If your eyes are showing signs of bulging, they will use an exophthalmometer to measure the degree of forward displacement of your eyes.

If you have not been diagnosed with any thyroid issues in the past, your eye doctor will often recommend that your primary care physician see you for further evaluation. If you are diagnosed with thyroid eye disease, your eye doctor can begin treatment immediately. 

Your eye doctor will recommend a few things that you can do to lessen the severity of your symptoms. They may recommend using cool compresses, lubricating eye drops, or elevating your head.

If further intervention is needed to treat your symptoms and prevent vision loss, your eye doctor may recommend surgery. In advanced cases, your eye doctor may suggest you have eyelid surgery, eye muscle surgery, or orbital decompression surgery. 

Do you have thyroid eye disease and are looking for someone to help preserve your vision and manage your symptoms? Schedule an appointment today at The Medical Eye Center in Manchester, Nashua, or Bedford, NH!

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