Thyroid Eye Disease Treatment

Older man being tested for thyroid eye disease treatment

Thyroid eye disease (also referred to as thyroid orbitopathy or Graves’ disease) is an autoimmune disease that affects one out of every 200 people. Many do not know where to turn for thyroid eye disease treatment. That’s why Dr. Taban is passionate about keeping you informed on the subject.

As evidenced in the name, this disease is related to the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland is an important part of your body. The hormones secreted by it control the body’s metabolism. A chemical known as “thyroid-stimulating hormone” (“TSH”) is released by the pituitary gland (located in the brain). This is normally where the thyroid gets its production orders from. However, in the case of those with hyperthyroidism, the body’s immune system releases abnormal antibodies that imitate TSH. The overproduction of TSH leads to the thyroid working much harder than it needs to. This causes various symptoms, including:

  • Weight loss
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Anxiety

Thyroid Eye Disease Symptoms

Those with hyperthyroidism can also develop an eye condition that causes the immune system to attack the muscles and surrounding tissue around the eyes. This condition is thyroid eye disease. Thyroid eye disease can cause one’s eyeballs to have numerous painful and irritating symptoms such as:

  • Bulging
  • Inflammation
  • Dryness
  • Pain
  • Redness

It is rarely severe enough to cause vision loss. However, it is important to seek medical attention, and possibly treatment, once symptoms occur. If a patient has already been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism, a doctor can determine if someone has thyroid eye disease by examining their eye physically. A computed tomography (“CT”) scan or a magnetic resonance imaging (“MRI”) system usually suffices.

Thyroid Eye Disease Treatment

Thyroid eye disease can sometimes improve on its own, but it is important to first get a professional opinion. This will determine specifics and help you choose thyroid eye disease treatment. Thyroid eye disease treatment has a multidisciplinary approach including the support of an endocrinologist, thyroid surgeon, ophthalmologist, and oculoplastic surgeon. Whether or not the patient is in the active inflammatory phase will determine the treatment plan. During that time, Dr. Taban may treat symptoms conservatively. This includes aggressive eye lubrication and, in some cases, systematic medication (steroid treatment). Monitoring the disease frequently is important as severe cases, including those with bulgy eyes, can run the risk of optic nerve damage. Once the active inflammatory phase has diminished, certain patients may be good candidates for orbital decompression surgery.

Orbital Decompression Surgery

Orbital decompression surgery is one of the more effective thyroid eye disease treatments. This surgery reduces the protruding and bulging eyes by expanding the actual eye socket (known as the orbit) to allow the eyeball to move back. By expanding the eye socket, the eyeball has the ability to rest in a more natural state. This helps to reduce the symptoms and appearance of bulging eyes.

Oculoplastic surgeon, Dr. Taban, is a well-known and trusted medical professional that has helped numerous patients through the minimally invasive technique of orbital decompression. His technique includes hidden incisions to achieve the desired effect. The treatment begins with a consultation with Dr. Taban in Beverly Hills or Los Angeles where he will evaluate your eyes and orbits. During that time, he will assess the severity and determine the necessary treatment options which could include orbital decompression surgery, retraction surgery, and/or blepharoplasty.

Preparing for Thyroid Eye Disease Treatment

While surgery may be necessary, sometimes noninvasive treatments, like injectable fillers, can help with the issue. Once Dr. Taban has determined that orbital decompression surgery is necessary, you will work with him to make the preparations. The procedure is an outpatient surgery that includes a seven to ten-day period of postoperative swelling and/or bruising. The main goal for Dr. Taban is to restore the eye and its surrounding structure to its natural youthfulness.

For those with restrictive strabismus causing double vision not corrected by prism glasses, second-stage surgery may be necessary. The third stage operation includes eyelid surgery (both reconstructive and cosmetic). Eyelid retraction is often associated with thyroid eye disease and can cause the eyelids to elevate. This is corrected along with any bags present around the eyes.

Oculoplastic Surgery in Beverly Hills

Dr. Taban is a board-certified surgeon with extensive knowledge and experience in oculoplastic surgery. He is a skilled surgeon who has been educated at the nation’s top institutions, including the University of California, Los Angeles and the University of California, Irvine. He not only practices medicine, but he is active in the medical community. Dr. Taban is a professor at UCLA’s Jules Stein Eye Institute, has published numerous scholarly articles in the field, and has received many accolades for his work.