Thyroid Eye Disease

Graves' eye disease or TED is an autoimmune disease. It occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the back of the eye and causes inflammation. It is mainly associated with an over-active thyroid due to Graves’ disease, although it does sometimes occur in people with an under-active or normally functioning thyroid. Graves’ disease is the most common cause of an over-active thyroid (hyperthyroidism) in the UK. Thyroid eye disease (TED) is an eye condition that causes the muscles and soft tissues in and around your eye socket to swell. It may also be called thyroid associated ophthalmopathy (TAO), thyroid orbitopathy, Graves’ orbitopathy or Graves’ ophthalmopathy (GO).

Unfortunately, many people with TED are left with a permanent change, usually in the physical appearance of their eyes or sometimes double vision. Surgery can improve appearance. In more severe cases it can be combined with other treatments such as steroids and radiotherapy. Rehabilitative surgery may involve:

'Decompression' surgery to create more space behind the eyes when there is pressure on the nerve or if there is a lot of protrusion of the eyeballs, in order to improve a person’s appearance

Eye muscle surgery to treat double vision;

Eyelid surgery to improve the appearance of the eyelids