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thyroid eye disease

(2 Posts)
4plus1 Thu 02-Dec-10 13:22:30

I have been having treatment for graves disease since july and have responded well. My other hyperthyroid symptoms have really improved. However my eye condition has gotten really bad over this past number of weeks. My right eye is bulging alot. I'm absolutly terrified of how bad its going to get. Has anyone had any experience of this? How bad does it get before they will do any surgery?

Lukeoz Wed 08-Dec-10 12:35:02

I have also had treatment for GD over the last three years and can offer some (entirely unqualified) advice...

Your thyroid symptoms may well be improving, and this is good, but the underlying autoimmunity can continue to affect your eyes for months after the thryoid output itself is brought under control. A period of 18 months to 2 years would not be unusual before the eye condition stabilises.

You should talk to your GP and ask him/her to refer you to a specialist opthalmologist - probably at your nearest large hospital. They will do some tests on your eyes, firstly to make sure that there is no pressure on the optic nerve, which can (in rare cases) lead to blindness.

That done, the clinic will continue to monitor your condition as it develops. It is possible to suppress the autoimmune response with drugs, but doctors are reluctant to do this except in a last resort, because such medicines can often have unpleasant side-effects.

Bulging eyes ("proptosis") are a common symptom of GD; sometimes both eyes are affected, but typically one will be worse than the other. The condition is unsightly and may lead to other problems such as double vision ("diplopia") or drying and redness of the eye surface.

You mentioned surgery. This is the ultimate treatment for Thyroid Eye Disease but you may find that your doctors will refuse to consider it until your condition has stabilised. Though frustrating for us patients, this is a good policy - if surgery is done too early, it may have to be repeated and this is always undesirable.

Hope you get better soon.

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