Thyroid eye disease is a rare autoimmune disease that damages the tissues, including the muscle and fat, located behind the eye. Also known as TED, Graves’ eye disease, Graves’ ophthalmopathy, and Graves’ orbitopathy, the disease occurs as the result of thyroid complications. In people with TED, the thyroid creates antibodies that attack the tissue behind the eye by attaching to the receptors. This is what creates the inflammatory response associated with thyroid eye disease.
What are the symptoms of thyroid eye disease?
Not everyone who suffers from thyroid eye disease experiences the same symptoms, but the most common include inflammation of the eyelids, redness, swelling, dryness or watery eyes, and eye bulging, also known as proptosis. This bulging is caused by swelling behind the eye, which causes the eye to move forward from its natural position in the eye socket. Proptosis often creates the appearance of “staring”, and can become severe, sometimes leading to vision loss in extreme cases.
Double vision and light sensitivity are also symptoms of moderate to severe thyroid eye disease. Given that the disease is progressive, symptoms develop and may worsen over time. Often, TED symptoms may stop progressing after approximately six months to two years. However, some patients experience persistent symptoms that continue past the disease’s progression.
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Treating Thyroid Eye Disease
Many thyroid eye disease treatments address the individual symptoms of the disease rather than the root cause. For instance, eye drops and ointments may be prescribed to combat dryness and discomfort. Your doctor may prescribe sunglasses to ease light sensitivity. Special lenses or eyepatches may also help correct double vision.
In more moderate to severe cases of proptosis, some patients may receive surgery to reposition bulging eyes. Orbital decompression surgery involves the creation of additional space around the eye, allowing the eye to rest in a more natural position.
These treatments are still widely used to combat the symptoms of TED, but now there’s an option available to treat the symptoms and the cause of the disease.
In 2020, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved an IV medication for thyroid eye disease treatment in adults. The typical course of treatment includes an infusion every 3 weeks over a course of approximately 5 months. Each patient’s treatment length is determined by their doctor depending on the severity of their disease.
Clinical studies have shown that approximately 70 percent of patients who received IV therapy for thyroid eye disease experienced a reduction of eye bulging by at least two millimeters.
How to seek IV therapy for thyroid eye disease
Patients seeking IV therapy for thyroid eye disease can ask their doctor to submit a referral form to InfuseAble Care. Our team of highly trained intake specialists help our patients receive the treatment they need faster than other infusion centers. And thanks to our team of medical writers, we are the best in-industry at approving patients seeking a second course of treatment.
Ask your doctor if IV therapy for thyroid eye disease is right for you, and have them fax or email a referral form to InfuseAble Care. Questions? Reach out to a member of our team or call us directly at (480) 927-3800.