In the Woodlands TX Graves Disease Eyes can be a debilitating experience. Thyroid eye disease is a disease that affects the tissue around the eyes. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder in which the immune system attacks its own tissues. Graves’ eye disease or Thyroid Eye Disease occurs when these immune cells start attacking the tissues around the eyes, like the orbital fat, eye muscles, and eyelids.
In Graves’ disease, immune cells attack the thyroid gland. The thyroid gland enlarges and hormones to surge. Because the tissues around the eyes have similar proteins to the thyroid gland, sometimes the immune system cross-reacts with the proteins. This is how the eyes become involved in Graves’ disease, causing Thyroid Eye Disease.
The involved connective tissue around the eyes become irritated and swollen from attacks of inflammation. The common symptoms of thyroid eye disease are bulging eyes, painful muscles, puffiness, and redness around the eye. Additionally, you could experience dry eyes, eye-bulging, double vision, and pain when blinking. More severe symptoms like vision loss can occur if inflammation persists.
Causes of The Woodlands TX Graves Disease Eyes
Once the immune system attacks the tissue around the eyes, it creates an inflammatory response, resulting in swelling, redness, and eye pain. The irritation and swelling can worsen over time if not treated. Unfortunately, severe cases of thyroid eye disease can result in permanent damage to the cornea or optic nerve, which subsequently impairs vision. Inflamed muscles become very large and will swell up and push up against the optical nerve. This compromises your ability to see.
Graves’ eye disease, or thyroid eye disease, is a complex autoimmune disease that results in a myriad of complications affecting your vision and your appearance. Plastic Eye Surgery Associates are experts in thyroid eye disease who want to educate our patients and those affected understand this complicated process. We have made educational videos available on YouTube to help inform our suffering patients. While complete vision loss is rare, about 10 to 20% of patients have vision-threatening thyroid eye disease.
Multimodal Treatment Approach
Thyroid eye disease treatment requires expert surgical reconstructive skills, long term medication management, and coordination among several different specialists. People experience different severity of symptoms, for which different treatment approaches are required. When there is active inflammation, we first start with IV or oral prednisone or another steroid to control the immune system. Because steroids have numerous side effects, other medications, like Methotrexate or Tepezza, may also be helpful at controlling inflammation during this stage.
The goal of initial therapy is to control inflammation that causes redness, puffiness, and swelling, and eventually prevent permanent changes to the tissues from occurring. Once the inflammation improves, there are usually permanent changes to the orbital tissues that cause bulging eyes and eyelid retraction. It is at this point in the thyroid eye disease progression that corrective surgery can be discussed.
Radiation may be another alternative to control inflammation. However, this is an extreme treatment option that is generally considered a last resort. Radiation therapy also has a long list of side effects. The radiation treatment can cause damage to the retina, make dry eyes even worse, or even mutate cells and cause cancer. While cancer is a low risk after radiation, we still try to use other medical and surgical treatment options first.
First Line Management
Simple treatment of Graves’ eye disease involves artificial tears and ointments for the lubrication of dry eyes. These are helpful in mild cases with no lag. The artificial tears and ointment help keep the eyes lubricated and decrease the dryness that causes irritation. The tear-producing gland, the lacrimal gland, is often affected by thyroid eye disease. By producing fewer tears, you are unable to hydrate the eyes enough.
Eyelid changes can also make the eyes appear too open. This allows those tears to evaporate from the surface of the eyes quickly, thus making dry eyes worse. Dry eyes can cause temporary vision loss. Along with causing red and irritated dry eyes, eyelid retraction can also give the appearance of “bug-eyed” or bulging eyes.
In many cases, surgery is necessary for reconstruction. Unfortunately, there is no “quick fix” for a disease as complex as thyroid eye disease. Surgery has to be individualized and usually requires multiples surgeries to achieve the best results. Orbital decompression is a surgical procedure that removes bone between the eye and sinuses to give more room in the skull for expanding connective tissue. This is a very specific procedure and needs to be performed by a special medical center with highly trained oculoplastic surgeons.
Other Plastic Surgery Treatment Options
As mentioned before, once your doctor has stabilized the inflammatory process of the disease, the permanent changes like bulging eyes, puffiness, and double vision still cause problems. While restoring sight is our primary goal, corrective surgery is often needed to reverse some of the disfiguring facial changes. Fat removal, upper and lower eyelid surgery, or cheek implants can help improve the appearance in both men and women.
Aside from thyroid eye disease, the plastic surgeons at Plastic Eye Surgery Associates perform various cosmetic procedures, particularly eyelid surgery. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid lifts, is a very common cosmetic surgery performed in the United States. It is slightly less popular than breast augmentation, liposuction, and rhinoplasty.
Upper and Lower Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid surgery is so popular is because it generates great results and is a relatively straightforward surgical process. Men and women elect this procedure to look younger and more beautiful. Plastic Eye Surgery Associates perform over 1000 blepharoplasty and eyelid surgeries every year. This means that our surgeons perform more than 35 times that of another plastic surgeon, who averages about 28 eyelid surgeries each year.
The reason we can perform such a high volume of these procedures is that we have the most experienced and highly trained surgeons in the industry. We have led the charge in blepharoplasty surgery in the Houston area for over 25 years. Our doctors have been recognized all over the world for their innovative methods and top-quality results.
The Surgery Just for You
Plastic Eye Surgery Associates know that everyone is different, so we want our work to reflect that. Our staff treats you with top-notch customer service throughout the whole process. When you meet your surgeon in person, you will get an individualized evaluation and treatment plan to specifically address your unique needs, whether you’re old or young, a man or a woman.
Other surgeons perform the same series of surgical steps on each patient, like a robot or assembly line. Unfortunately, this often ends badly with an unhappy patient and poor results. Each procedure needs to be customized around the unique attributes of each different patient, and our top-quality surgeons take pride in ensuring that in our practice. Taking these attributes into consideration will allow us to maximize our results for you.
Plastic Eye Surgery Associates offer the best plastic eye surgery, unlike any other practice. Our highly experienced doctors even share their own knowledge and train future doctors from around the world in techniques of surgery. Our oculoplastic surgeons have achieved accolades from international academic societies, medical journals, and popular magazines. The doctors at Plastic Eye Surgery Associates are the best available, and we hope you can trust our practice to show you.
Get in Touch With Us Today
Plastic Eye Surgery Associates will treat your needs from thyroid eye disease to sagging and wrinkly eyelids. We know the importance of your eyes to your entire look. Let us help you get your eyes back on track with cosmetic and corrective surgery. We want your eyelids and eyes to look good and feel great!
If you are interested in our surgical practice, then visit our website to find out more. You may also call us at (713) 795-0705 with any questions. Start your treatment off right by calling the Plastic Eye Surgery Associates. Scheduling a consultation will take you in the right direction. Contact us today for The Woodlands TX Graves disease eyes medical care.
Fun Facts about The Woodlands
- The first high school opened in 1976!
- Almost 150 parks are in this area!
- Go see a concert at Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion!
- Click here to find more fun facts about The Woodlands.