As we all know, there is a very important gland, known as the thyroid gland, that is located around your neck and in the throat. The thyroid gland is placed in such a position that it almost resembles the structure of a butterfly. This major gland plays a major role in the overall functioning of your body. The thyroid gland helps in the regulation of certain important functions of the human body which include metabolism, absorption, controlling the functions of the heart and the circulatory system, keeping the heart healthy and maintaining a normal heart rate and blood pressure levels, keeping a healthy and normal body temperature, and so on. The thyroid gland secretes a hormone, too much or too little of which can lead to the occurrence of several types of physiological difficulties and adversities. One such difficulty can occur in the eyes when the thyroid gland does not function properly or undergoes abnormal secretion of hormones. There might be a number of reasons behind the eyes getting affected as a result of abnormal functioning of the thyroid gland, but the true and exact reason behind such occurrences is still unknown. Thyroid Eye Disease or TED is quite a common occurrence among those who suffer from malfunctioning the thyroid gland. It can become a severe condition if the treatment of the disease is delayed for a long period of time. Thus, it is very much important for people, particularly for those who are suffering from different types of thyroid-related conditions, to know what Thyroid Eye Disease all is about, what can occur as a result of such a condition, how to identify the disease, and most importantly, how to treat the disease. If you are the one who is looking for the answers related to these questions, then this one is probably the most important article for you, because this article will help you to get a detailed idea about Thyroid Eye Disease. So, read the article till the end in order to have an in-depth idea about the possible treatment options of Thyroid Eye Disease and about its diagnosis.
Thyroid Eye Disease Or Ted:
Thyroid Eye Disease or TED is a disease that can occur as a result of abnormal functioning of the thyroid gland, characterized by inflammation and damage in the eyes and the optic nerves and areas surrounding it. Thyroid Eye Disease is a common occurrence when the thyroid gland becomes overactive and secretes more hormones. It can also occur if the thyroid gland cannot function effectively. When a person develops conditions like Thyroid Eye Disease, then there are higher chances that he or she might grow more muscles, fat cells, and tissues in the areas surrounding the eye and the socket that will make the area look like a bulging and might also make it become swollen. Apart from that, when you develop Thyroid Eye Disease, there are chances of hair loss in the eyebrows and you are more likely to suffer from hypothyroidism, a condition of malfunctioning the thyroid gland. Thyroid Eye Disease is a severe condition of the eyes, and it can severely hamper the functioning of the nerve cells located in the areas that are found surrounding the eyes.
Apart from the abnormal functioning of the thyroid gland, there are other reasons as well, that can lead to Thyroid Eye Disease. It has been found that Thyroid Eye Disease is an autoimmune disease that can affect you when the immune system becomes too protective that it attacks the body itself. Thyroid Eye Disease, if occurs in a person should be treated at once becomes it is quite a severe condition of the eyes that can seriously damage some of the significant portions of the eyes and in some fatal cases, vision might also get impaired.
Types Of Thyroid Eye Disease:
Thyroid Eye Disease is a disorder that can be broadly divided into two basic types. They are:
- Active or Inflammatory phase
- Stable phase
In the case of the first phase, the disease might linger for several months to two/three years, but the second phase can follow when the inflammation stops. Thyroid Eye Disease is a condition that is often known to be related to symptoms that resemble that of Graves’ Disease. Graves’ Disease is also a type of autoimmune disease that can damage the thyroid gland, and the eyes, and can also affect your skin health. There are also certain conditions that are related to the abnormal functioning of the thyroid gland, such as hyperthyroidism, a condition that occurs as a result of increased secretion of thyroid hormones from the thyroid gland, and hypothyroidism, which is caused as a result of extreme low secretion of thyroid hormones. Both these health adversities are related to Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Eye Disease. In fact, many healthcare experts have opined that a majority of those who suffer from Thyroid Eye Disease is found to have either of the two above diseases. Though Thyroid Eye Disease is a disease that is common among those who suffer from thyroid problems, it has also been found that Thyroid Eye Disease can occur among normal people, with perfectly healthy thyroid glands with optimum levels of thyroid hormones.
Signs And Symptoms Related To Thyroid Eye Disease:
Thyroid Eye Disease is a severe condition of the eyes that should be treated without any delay. But now you might be confused about the fact that how it would be possible for you to identify whether you are suffering from Thyroid Eye Disease at all. Though the signs and symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease can differ from one person to another based on certain factors like eye health, thyroid functioning, and so on, there are still certain common signs of Thyroid Eye Disease, such as follows:
- mild to severe irritation in the eyes
- redness in the eyes
- the blurring of vision in the eyes caused due to a condition known as proptosis
- double vision or diplopia
- pain in the eyes, that can increase during eye movements
- ulcer or soreness in the cornea
- problems in closing the eyes
- eyes become watery
- dryness in the eyes
- gritty feeling in the eyes
Once you start noticing any of these symptoms, consult and take suggestions from an ophthalmologist or any medical practitioner at soon as you can. Other than an ophthalmologist, there are several types of healthcare professionals who can deal with the symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease and can effectively help to treat the disease. Some of those professionals are:
- An endocrinologist is a doctor who treats hormonal disorders (because thyroid eye disease is a result of thyroid hormone problems)
- ENT specialist, who can treat the disorders in the ear, nose, and throat, and can help to treat thyroid eye disease.
Diagnosis And Treatment Of Thyroid Eye Disease:
In order to treat Thyroid Eye Disease, it is essentially important to detect the disease through proper diagnosis. There are certain types of tests and diagnosis methods that should be performed in order to know what treatment method should be followed in order to treat Thyroid Eye Disease. When you consult your health care provider to treat Thyroid Eye Disease, he or she might advise you to test the eyelids and the areas surrounding the eyes. If the Thyroid Eye Disease occurs as a result of ophthalmic problems, then the doctor might recommend some eye-related tests, but if the disease is related to hormonal problems or certain disorders of the thyroid gland, then your doctor will definitely suggest blood tests and thyroid tests examine the level of thyroid hormones in the body and to check whether the level of antibodies in your body are too high or low.
Apart from the above ones, the doctor might advise you to do some other tests as well. Some of them are listed here as follows:
Now, once the diagnosis of the disease is completed, it is time to get it treated. There are different treatment options to get rid of Thyroid Eye Disease. In some cases, intravenous or IV medication can help to lower the symptoms related to Thyroid Eye Disease, such as bulging of eyes and diplopia. Besides, there are certain types of techniques that will help to reduce Thyroid Eye Disease, such as follows:
- lubricating eye drops that should be taken in doses as advised by the healthcare expert
- apply a cold compress to manage to swell and allow the eyes to get comfort
- take protection when the eyes are exposed to sensitive lights
- apply thicker lubricating eye drops or gels at night
Besides, the doctor might suggest other surgeries, such as:
- orbital decompression surgery
- strabismus (eye muscle) surgery
- eyelid retraction surgery
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