Thyroid Eye Disease
Hyperthyroidism, also known as an overactive thyroid gland, involves an excess of hormone production that can lead to weight loss, irregular heartbeat and irritability. One of the most common reasons for an overactive thyroid gland is Graves' disease, an autoimmune disorder in which antibodies cause the thyroid to produce too much thyroxine.
This condition may cause symptoms within the eyes such as bulging, double vision, swollen eyelids, and dry eyes. If symptoms are mild, conservative treatment may be attempted using lubricating eye drops, protective eye coverings and prism lenses. Oral steroids are sometimes prescribed for short-term use to relieve swelling and discomfort.
In more severe cases of thyroid eye disease, surgical treatment may be recommended. Depending upon the way the condition is affecting the eyes, procedures may be considered to relieve the pressure on the optic nerve (orbital decompression), reposition the muscles of the eye, or alter the eyelid tissue (eyelid retraction repair) in order to create a more healthy eye in addition to improving cosmesis.