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Thyroid Eye Disease

The thyroid eye disease (TED) involves an autoimmune reaction that affects the eyes. Muscles and fatty tissue behind the eye become swollen, red, and inflamed as a result. It can also alter the appearance of the eye and cause bulging or cause scars on the muscles that move the eye, causing double vision. There is a small chance that thyroid eye disease could lead to blindness due to damage of the optic nerve that the back of the eye. It can also affect the cornea if you have trouble closing the eyes properly, which causes scarring and infection at the front of the eye.



At FaceRestoration, we understand the range of symptoms caused by Thyroid Eye Disease and aim to treat you as soon as possible. We offer a wide range of treatments, from prescription eye care to eyelid surgeries, to alleviate your symptoms and increase prognosis. Our award-winning ophthalmic and oculoplastic surgeons will safely take care of everything from consultation and diagnosis to treatment and post-op care.

The main symptoms are caused by loss of function and inflammation. These lead to symptoms of dry eye – watery eyes, soreness, discomfort, and the feeling of grittiness.

Other common symptoms of thyroid eye disease include:

  • Bulging eyes
  • Discomfort
  • A feeling of dry grittiness
  • Upper eyelid swelling
  • Eye bags/festoons
  • Redness and inflammation
  • Light sensitivity
  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Dry or watery eyes
  • Reduced eye mobility
  • Loss of sight

In its mild form, Thyroid Eye Disease is frequently misdiagnosed as various other conditions, such as conjunctivitis, allergies and hay fever. When diagnosed with thyroid problems, it is important to receive specialist advice to give an accurate diagnosis.

What causes Thyroid Eye Disease?

The most common cause of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and thyroid eye disease is Graves’ disease. Graves’ disease affects mostly young or middle-aged women, and it is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid gland. Graves’ disease patients are about 25% more likely to develop thyroid eye disease. The condition may occur before, during or after being diagnosed with a thyroid condition.

To help prevent further complications such as thyroid eye disease, patients should ensure that their hormone levels are monitored and under control with appropriate medication.

What are the phases of Thyroid Eye Disease?

This condition has two main phases: an active phase and a quiescent, or ‘burn out’ phase.

Thyroid Eye disease has two distinct phases; an active phase and a passive, or “burnout” phase.

Active Phase

We recommend that patients in the active phase see an oculoplastic surgeon regularly. Seeing our ophthalmic and oculoplastic consultants will help to manage and treat active inflammation. In turn, this will slow the progression of thyroid eye disease.

Passive (Burnout) Phase

In the passive phase of thyroid eye disease, we often see patients that already have significant changes to their appearance. We understand how distressing this can be and offer a wide range of treatments to restore your appearance and help with eye function.

How is Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) diagnosed?

The risk of developing thyroid problems is greater in people with thyroid problems, particularly those with overactive thyroids. Their doctor can explain the symptoms to look out for. In fact, many people are misdiagnosed with TED because it may occur before or after a thyroid condition is detected.

Most patients with thyroid conditions will typically only develop mild symptoms of TED. You should seek the help of a specialist ophthalmologist, who can work together with an endocrinologist to manage your condition.

At FaceRestoration, we work as part of a multidisciplinary team to help treat and manage your thyroid problems.

What is the prognosis of thyroid eye disease?

When treated appropriately and caught early, the prognosis is mainly positive. Most of the problems associated with function – that cause more significant issues – can be treated successfully through medication and surgery.

The most effective way to slow the progression of TED is to work with a multidisciplinary team of ophthalmic and oculoplastic surgeons as well as an endocrinologist. That way, we can work together to manage both the hormonal changes and associated eye disease.

How we can help

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Arrange a consultation with us using the button below at a time of your choosing. This may be held through video chat dependant on COVID guidelines at the time.

Your consultation

We will then discuss with you your symptoms and advise you on how best to proceed with helpful guidance on treatments through our expert knowledge and training.

Treatment after care

Once an appointment has been arranged, we will then begin treatment and support you along the process, including specialised aftercare.