What Is Thyroid Eye Disease?

Thyroid eye disease is an autoimmune condition that causes your body to attack the tissue that surrounds the eye. This results in inflammation around and behind your eyes, leading to the appearance of bulging eyes.

If you are experiencing TED, the same autoimmune condition can affect the thyroid gland and result in thyroid overactivity (hyperthyroidism, also known as Graves’ disease), inactivity (hypothyroidism), or in rare cases the thyroid function remains normal (euthyroid). Thyroid eye disease, also known as Graves’ Orbitopathy or Ophthalmopathy, requires the work of an eye specialist to correct. Oculofacial plastic surgeon Dr. Caroline Vargason works closely with endocrinologists to help you find a solution to reduce inflammation and manage your symptoms. 

What Are the Symptoms of TED?

  • Watery eyes
  • Difficulty being around bright lights
  • Swelling or fullness in the upper or lower eyelids
  • Grittiness or excessive dryness in the eyes
  • Bags developing beneath the eyes 
  • Redness of the eyes or lids
  • Blurred or double vision
  • Pain in the eyes or behind the eyes
  • Difficulty moving the eyes
  • Bulging eyes 

If you begin to experience these symptoms, you should visit an eye specialist to have your eyes examined for TED. 

Why Choose Dr. Vargason?

Dr. Caroline Vargason knows that the eyes are the most important part of your face. They allow you to see the world around you and enhance and balance your facial features. When a medical condition impacts your eyes, it can be challenging for both your physical and mental health. She founded her practice, Nava Face & Eye, to help patients restore and enhance their eyes.

As a board-certified oculofacial plastic surgeon, she provides patient-focused and detail-oriented care. For patients with TED, surgical correction requires an expert. Dr. Vargason is experienced in treating patients with this condition and performed over 5,000 oculoplastic procedures. If you are interested in a consultation, contact her office today.

Thyroid Eye Disease Treatment 

Your doctor may prescribe certain eye medications to treat your TED, including drops or ointment. In many cases, surgery is required to correct the side effects of the condition. Some of the surgical options include:

Orbital decompression surgery

Dr. Vargason can create more space behind the eyes to ease pressure on the surrounding nerve during this surgical procedure. The incisions will be placed along the crease of the eyes, leaving any scar imperceptible. Orbital decompression can help your eyes close more comfortably and protect them from outside particles and irritation. It is an outpatient procedure that can be completed in about two hours. 

Strabismus surgery

During this outpatient surgery, the muscles around the eyes are adjusted to help patients experiencing double vision caused by TED. Recommendation for this procedure requires an expert in TED, such as Dr. Vargason, to refer you to a strabismus specialist. Most patients experience significant improvement with this surgery. 

Eyelid surgery

Eyelid surgery requires a surgeon with a deep understanding of the area. TED can cause significant changes in this delicate area. Dr. Vargason can help restore your eyes to their natural shape while also adjusting eyelids to better protect your eyes. This is an outpatient procedure that can be completed in one to two hours for most patients. 

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Thyroid Eye Disease FAQ

Do you have to have a thyroid condition to experience TED?

How do I know if I have TED?

Do you have to have a thyroid condition to experience TED?

No. TED thyroid is overactive, underactive, or normal. For patients with preexisting thyroid conditions, including Graves’ disease, you are more likely to develop TED.

How do I know if I have TED?

TED can be diagnosed by an eye specialist such as Dr. Vargason. It is diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam.

Schedule Your Consultation

If you have thyroid eye disease or are experiencing symptoms, contact Nava Face & Eye today to schedule your consultation with Dr. Vargason. 

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