Thyroid Eye Disease
Certain types of thyroid disease, typically Grave’s disease, can profoundly affect the appearance and function of the orbit and eyelids. This can include protrusion of the eye itself (exophthalmos), eyelid retraction affecting the upper or lower eyelid, and puffiness and swelling of the eyelids. This can severely alter the appearance of the face and eyes as well as potentially causing discomfort of the eyes due to exposure and may be vision threatening with associated scarring of the corneas or optic nerve compression.
Many surgical procedures are possible to either save the sight or improve the comfort and appearance of the eyes. These range from orbital decompression to allow the eyes to become less protruding and to relieve pressure on the optic nerve, to strabismus surgery to improve double vision or eyelid surgery to reduce exposure and improve the aesthetic appearance. It is important that these procedures are carried out in a step wise fashion and in the correct order to achieve optimal results.