Graves disease - Thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy

Thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy is one of the most typical symptoms of Graves' disease. Fibroblasts in the orbital tissues express the Thyroid Stimulating Hormone receptor (TSHR). This may explain why one ans the same autoantibody to the TSHR can cause disease in both the thyroid and the eyes. An autoimmune mediated inflammation affects the orbital contents including the extraocular eye muscles, the orbital fat and the connective tissue.
The ocular manifestations include soft tissue inflammation, proptosis (protrusion of one or both globes of the eyes), corneal exposure, eye lid retraction, motility problems (diplopia) and in rare cases compression of the optic nerve.

Therapy:
Acute stadium:
Symptomatic therapy with artificial tears, lubricants, antiinflammatory therapy with intravenous steroids and retro-orbital radiation (to reduce chemosis and development of exophthalmus)
To restore the cosmetic appearance:
Eye lid surgery, strabismus operation, fat tissue removal or orbital decompression.

Only a multidisciplinary cooperation between ophthalmologists, thyroid specialists (nuclear medicine, internal medicine, thyroid surgents), and oral facial surgents can guarantee a fast and successful rehabilitation.

What we offer:
Discussion of your thyroid situation and therapy.
Determination of the inflammatory activity.
Explanation of the expected disease progress.
Explanation of the terms of behavior.
Explanation and initiation of conservative and surgical therapy.
In severe cases a hospitalisation is mandatory.
Please reduce or quit smoking as it has been proven to prolonge the disease. Advisory service at the Rauchertelefon. eMail: info@rauchertelefon.at