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. In more severe cases of thyroid eye disease, surgical treatment may be recommended by the board-certified ophthalmologists at Oculoplastic Associates of Texas in Dallas and Plano. 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 relieve the eye and improve the patient’s appearance.
"Extremely kind and very informative. Excellent with our nine year old. Office is well kept and clean. Staff was friendly and we did not have to wait long to be called back. Maybe 10 minutes. I would definitely recommend Dr. Merritt."- M. / Healthgrades / Feb 01, 2018
"Dr. Merritt is a very gracious and kind doctor with exceptional skills. My wife and I were very pleased with his services. We would highly recommend him as an ocular surgeon. He was wonderful to work with."- J.&. / Healthgrades / Dec 28, 2018
"Best Oculoplastic Surgeon in Dallas - Dr. Abbott did an amazing, life changing, eye lid lift surgery!!!! I am more confident and I still don't recognize myself. As she's a true artist!"- Anonymous / Vitals / Sep 21, 2018
"He's the Best - Dr. Merritt is the best, he is understanding, kind and willing to spend the time explaining his procedure to fix your eyes. I picked him out in a google search and it was the best decision I've ever made. My eye lids had dropped from cataract surgery and I had been looking through my eye lashes for about a year. Now I have great vision and quite a pretty look to my eyes. If I ever have any more issues he is the only one I will go to. His nurse is great and the girls at the front desk were kind and helpful. He also has a fantastic surgical crew.nWe need more doctors like Dr. Merritt."- Anonymous / Vitals / Sep 14, 2018
"I had a great experience with Dr Abbott and her staff at the Plano office. I had an upper eyelid blepharoplasty done in the office. I was nervous but they put me right at ease. The procedure was painless and quick. I am more than happy with the results and now only need to use readers! I also found their website to be very easy to navigate."- N.H. / Healthgrades / Aug 02, 2018
Orbital decompression surgery creates more space in the eye socket so the inflamed tissue has a new area to spread into, which relieves pressure on the optic nerve. For patients with double vision from thyroid eye disease, strabismus surgery adjusts the muscles of the eye or eyes to a correct position. If the eyelids have been contracted as a result of the eye bulging, eyelid retraction repair is performed with conscious sedation so the surgeon can optimize the position of the upper and lower eyelids. If needed, ear cartilage may be harvested and grafted to the eyelid.
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Thyroid Eye Disease FAQs
Signs and Symptoms?
Thyroid eye disease may cause symptoms within the eyes such as bulging, double vision, swollen eyelids, and dry eyes. The swollen fat tissue in the eye socket may decrease the eyeball’s range of motion and cause eye fatigue. Other signs may include watering, red, and light-sensitive 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.
Who's at Risk?
While thyroid eye disease can occur in men and women of any age, it is more common in women and patients over the age of 45. Thyroid eye disease may occur at the same time as hyperthyroid or hypothyroid, but it can also develop without any thyroid malfunctions.