Proptosis, Exophthalmos, Orbital Disease & Orbital Surgery

Thyroid Eye Disease: Know all about it
Proper functioning of the thyroid gland is extremely important for the proper functioning of the human body. Any problems with its functioning can lead to severe consequences. Thyroid Eye Disease is a known symptom of thyroid problems and it is an autoimmune disease. It happens when there is an abnormally high secretion of the thyroid hormone which causes the thyroid gland to expand and the metabolism to increase. This kind of hypermetabolic state has symptoms such as palpitations, high blood pressure, fast heartbeat, profuse sweating, fatigue, loss of weight, heat intolerance, irritability and bad-quality hair. It also causes Graves Disease or what is more commonly known as Thyroid Eye Disease.


Orbit – Bony Eye Socket (White Star)

The eyes are an organ of the body that is closely linked with the thyroid gland and that is why it is one of the first body parts to be effected when the functioning of the thyroid gland is not happening correctly. The ocular symptoms that you can notice may be anything between mild to severe, but usually there is nothing to worry about because only in case of 10% to 20% patients does any sight-threatening condition ensue.


Proptosis (Exophthalmos) post surgery for thyroid orbital disease

Symptoms that can be expected if one has Thyroid Eye Disease

Here are the symptoms one should know about:

  • Swelling (edema) of the eyelids and tissue around the eye
  • Eyelid retraction
  • A constant stare
  • Watering and redness of the eyes
  • Dry eyes or a sensation that there is grit in the eye
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Double vision
  • A feeling of pressure on the eyes
  • Loss of vision

Of course, it should be said here that the above symptoms do not mean that a person most definitely has Graves Disease. However, if you or a loved one has these symptoms, it may well be a good idea to consult your doctor and get the necessary tests done.

Causes of Thyroid Eye Disease

When the immune system is under attack, the ocular tissues within the eye socket and the muscles swell and there is also scarring. This causes these symptoms. Many patients who suffered from Graves Disease experience the eyes bulging forward and the eyelids may also retract a little. A lot of patients may even experience a spontaneous improvement in a couple of years when they become used to the abnormality. It is only in 10% of the patients that get affected severely.  In case there is inflammation of the muscles, there may be swelling also.


Orbitotomy Surgery Incisions

Video on Lateral Orbitotomy (performed by Dr. Debraj Shome) to remove an orbital mass:

Diagnosis of Thyroid Eye Disease

In case one suffers from a thyroid gland that is over-active, the thyroid function has to be tested first before eye disease can be checked for. Thyroid function can easily be treated by drugs. When the thyroid function returns to normal, the eye disease has to be continually monitored to ensure that it does not progress any further .The truth is that the symptoms often go away on their own and in only very few cases does permanent damage occur.

Graves disease surgery

In a few cases, one’s doctor may suggest that he goes and visits an oculoplasty surgeon to get a surgery done. The good news is India doesn’t lack in opportunities to get such a surgery done.  There are lots of top oculoplasty surgeons in India and they will be able to do justice to the treatment you are provided. Whether it is for the eyelids, the brows, the sockets or the orbital, it is important that you take out time to choose a good plastic surgeon. This will ensure that the chances of success are high.

Copyrighted to The Esthetic Clinic 2013.


4 thoughts on “Proptosis, Exophthalmos, Orbital Disease & Orbital Surgery

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