Thyroid eye disease is common inflammatory disease of the soft tissues around the eye that can cause, pain and discomfort and occasionally vision loss. Whilst it is usually associated with a history of thyroid disease this is not always the case. Thyroid Eye Disease in its mild form is often misdiagnosed as a variety of other conditions and commonly requires specialist expertise to diagnose accurately.
This condition has two main phases: an active phase and a quiescent, or 'burn out' phase. Patients with active Thyroid Eye Disease will need to see an oculoplastic surgeon regularly who will often use a variety of treatments to reduce the active inflammation and limit the development of the disease.
In the burnt out phase, patients often have to contend with significant disfigurement with an altered facial appearance. The goals of treatment in this phase are to restore the pre-illness facial appearance and this will often include several different types of surgery to the eye socket, eyelids, and sometimes the muscles that move the eye.