A Letter From Your Eye Doctor

It was a privilege to see you today in consultation in my examining suite. For your information and records, and because you are the most important member of your treatment team, I have attached a copy of my findings and impressions. As you know, we as physicians do not completely understand the factors that cause…

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Graves’ Eye Disease – treating the inflamed phase

Graves’ disease is a condition affecting the eyelids and tissue behind the eye in people who have had a thyroid disorder. The name Graves is the name of a man who described the condition years ago. In the most common situation, a person that is hyperthyroid develops swelling and build up of tissue behind the…

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Thyroid Related Orbitopathy (TRO)

Introduction Not all people with thyroid disease have problems with their eyes. It is a common enough problem, however, that many people have expressed a desire to have more information about how their thyroid condition is related to their eye problems and what can be done about it. The eye changes associated with thyroid disease…

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Dry Eyes, Watery Eyes, Itching Eyes

Dry eyes is a very common problem caused by a lack of normal tears. It is the most likely cause of itching, burning, tearing, and sandy-feeling eyes. Other symptoms can be contact lens intolerance, chronic redness of the eyes, an intermittent foreign body feeling (something in the eye), or recurrent eye infections. Some patients with…

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Anatomical Pictures of Normal vs. Graves’ Eye Muscles

Figure 1. In Graves’ ophthalmopathy, the extraoccular muscles become infiltrated with micropolysaccharides, and the muscles become enlarged, firm, rubbery and resistant to passive stretching. The muscle volume may be increased eight to ten times the normal size. With time, scarring and shortening of the muscles may occur, resulting in double vision. Figure 1 Figure 2.…

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Glaucoma and Graves’ Disease

Elevated eye pressure is extremely common in patients with Graves’ eye disease. However, this does not necessarily mean that glaucoma is also common in Graves’ disease. Glaucoma is elevation of pressure within the eye which eventually leads to diminution of side vision and damage to the sight nerve which can be seen by the ophthalmologist…

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Dry Eyes

The eye depends on constant moisture and lubrication to maintain vision and to maintain comfort. Human tears, nature’s lubricant for the eye, are remarkable. The tears are actually composed of many different components: water for moisture, oils for lubrication, mucus for even spreading, and different types of antibodies and special proteins for resistance to infection.…

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Graves’ Ophthalmopathy and Radiation Therapy

The ophthalmopathy or eye changes associated with thyroid disease are most often associated with the thyroid hyperfunction accompanying Graves’ disease. However, it occasionally may occur in patients with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and even in patients without any known thyroid disease. The severity of eye problems often times, does not parallel the clinical course of the thyroid…

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Graves’ Disease – Double Vision

Sir Robert Graves, MD., first described the association of hyperthyroidism, goiter and exophthalmos in 1835. Since then, other eye-related findings have been described in patients with Graves’ disease, including swelling and edema of the conjunctival surface of the eye (chemosis), prominence of the tiny blood vessels overlying the white (sclera) part of the eye, as…

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Eye Changes with Graves’ – Continuing Concepts

(Note: See last page for Figures) The exact cause and pathophysiology of the soft tissue changes in the eyelids and orbit in Graves’ disease continue to remain unknown. The management of these changes, particularly in the acute stage, presents a very frustrating problem to the doctor and the patient. This area is filled with controversy…

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