AnonymousOctober 28, 1996 at 9:56 pmPost count: 93172
Hi Karen and welcome!
Yes, much of the time the effects of Graves’ to the eyes will stop after around two years. This is a good reason to be patient if possible and not rush into surgerys.
However, some of the damage that Graves’ can do to the eyes may linger after that time, such as double vision and proptosis (bulging) and you may require surgery to correct some of this. I will be having strabismus surgery in a week or so to correct my double vision, but the proptosis went away pretty well.
If your eyes start bulging out too much and your vision starts to be impaired, there are a few things they can do. First thing they will usually do is to put you on steroids (prednisone) which can relieve some of the inflamation to the eye muscles. Sometimes the side effects of prednisone are intolerable for people tho. They may have to treat for Glaucoma also as it often comes secondary to the GD.
If the eyes continue to get worse, one thing they consider is orbital irradiation. What they do is zap the eye muscles with radiation (like they do cancer) which can stabilize the swelling of the muscles. They claim a 80% “success rate” (whatever that is) using this method. I had this done.
The next step in severe cases is what Jake had done, Orbital Decompression. They go in and remove material from the eye socket so the eyeball can drop back into the head.
No one can say how much trouble you are gonna have with your eyes but most people do not have as much trouble as Jake and I. I was almost completely blind at one point tho, and now my vision is close to 20/20. Kinda wierd vision, but it is pretty good.
Hope this doesn’t scare you, but just be aware of the possibilities.
Talk about long winded!
BruceAnonymousOctober 28, 1996 at 11:59 pmPost count: 93172
Hi. I’m new to this group. I’ve had Grave’s disease for about 6 years and just started having eye problems about 6 months ago. I’ve got some double vision, sensitive to light, but my biggest problem is looking up or turning my head — grocery shopping sucks like this! My eye doc just put me on FML eye drops. My big concern is what’s going to happen? I’ve read on the Web that eye problems “burn out” after 2 years, meaning problems go away?? Does this happen for most people – it doesn’t sound like it stopped after 2 years for a lot of you?? How bad will ith get for most people? Will I have to stop working? Sorry this is long, but please, can someone answer these questions. Thanks, KarenAnonymousOctober 29, 1996 at 9:41 pmPost count: 93172
Hi, I have had GD for about a year. I kept after my Doctor
to tell me what my eye problem was from. He said it
was not fron the GD. Boy I think I need another Doctor.
I finally went to an eye specialist and he said it IS from
the GD. I feel like I have sand in my eyes and they get very very red
and they tear a lot. The tears sometimes just pour down my face, it is
very very annoying. I hope this will end but I now have a lot more knowlege
after reading all the messages on this board. Hang in there and make sure you
see an Eye Specialist. Don’t suffer needlessly.
Lynn From TorontoAnonymousAugust 27, 1997 at 9:09 pmPost count: 93172
I had the eye radiation in June 97, both eyes. My left eye was the one causing me so much trouble. Now after the treatment both of my eyes are messed up. How long does it take to tell if the radiation did any good?
I now have the kertitis (eyes getting a film on them) and causing some blurry vision. It looks like eye contacts that are out of place on eyes. I thought I was getting an eye infection that did not hurt. Is this from not putting the eye drops often enough or is it just part of the eye thyroid disease?
Never had an antibodies blood test. Do you think that this could help the doctors treat my eyes any better?
Thanks in advance cause I know you guys have come through for me before!
P.S. The endo I got says that my blood tests are in normal range and that my Graves Disease is ok. Therefore, any other things wrong with me must be something else. Now we just have to figure out what!AnonymousAugust 27, 1997 at 10:05 pmPost count: 93172
RADIATION TO THE EYES WORKS FOR ABOUT 80% OF PEOPLE WHO RECEIVE IT. THE AVERAGE TIME TO BEGIN TO SEE AN IMPROVEMENT IS 1 – 3 MONTHS. IF YOU ARE NOT UNDER THE CARE OF AN OPTHAMOLOGIST, YOU NEED TO SEE ONE ASAP. ALSO THE RADIATION DOCTOR NEEDS TO BE MADE AWARE OF YOUR EYE PROBLEMS, AND THE LACK OF RESPONSE. A REPEAT CAT SCAN OR MRI OF THE EYES SHOULD ALSO BE CONSIDERED TO LOOK AT THE STATUS OF THE OPTIC NERVES. ANTIBODY TESTING IS OFTEN DONE AS PART OF THE WORK – UP OF GRAVES DISEASE. ASK THE ENDO DOCTOR ABOUT IT AND ITS ROLE IN GRAVES DISEASE. THE FIRST STEP IS TO LET YOUR DOCS KNOW THESE THINGS ARE HAPPENING MAKE SURE THEY ANSWER YOUR QUESTIONS. GOOD LUCK
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