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      Post count: 93172

      I came across this reading a “Dear Abby, Column.” LOL–I have my radar eys out again for
      the word thyroid in the news…

      Radiotherapy effectively treats bulging eyes of Graves’ disease

      Dear Dr.:
      I am a 34-year-old woman with Graves’ disease and
      Graves’ ophthalmopathy. I have moderate proptosis and intermittent double
      vision. My thyroid is well-controlled with medication.
      I have three options offered to me by eye doctors:
      “Leave it alone; it will run its course.”
      “I could put you on high doses of cortisone.”
      “Radiation therapy is best for you.”
      Where can I get an evaluation for radiation therapy?
      — D.M.

      The overactive thyroid gland of Graves’ disease — exophthalmic goiter — can
      lead to the difficult problem of Graves’ ophthalmopathy, which is a forward bulging
      of the eyes.
      Lymphocytes — white blood cells — infiltrate the eye socket along with a gooey
      material, forcing the eyes to protrude. The eyelids no longer can protect and
      lubricate the eyes. Eye muscles are thrown out of sync, resulting in double vision.
      Artificial tears are used to moisten the eyes, and eye shields can keep foreign
      matter from scratching the eyes.
      Curiously, control of the overactive thyroid has little effect on eye involvement.
      Time does improve many bulging eyes, though. One option is to wait and see
      what happens.
      Cortisone drugs shrink the mass of cells and goo that have infiltrated the eye
      socket. Graves’ ophthalmopathy calls for high doses, which carry with them
      multiple, undesirable side effects. But the side effects go away when the patient
      stops taking the drugs.
      Surgery is another option. The bony eye socket can be enlarged, or fat and
      gunk can be removed from the socket, after which the eyes slip back into their
      normal position.
      Radiotherapy is effective in eradicating the infiltrating material that seeped into
      the socket.
      There are four first-rate medical schools in your state. The eye department of
      each can evaluate your situation and suggest the best treatment for you.


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        Post count: 93172

        Hi Denise,
        Finally getting a chance to catch up. I really like this article you posted. It gives a quick description of what has been going on with me except I had the Radiotherapy before the Decompression surgery. I find it is sometimes hard to explain what exactly has happened or is happening with my eyes. I have printed this and may just hand out the odd copy!

        Hope all is well with you these days and you have finished with all your surgeries. You lucky thing.
        Take care, SAS

          Post count: 93172

          Reading up on the board about the Eye Dr.’s and I was wondering if we should all get a check up by an opth. so there is a starting place or do you wait and see I know not everyone developes eye disease? My Endo said it didn’t seem like any involvment yet but could be in a year or two.????? I do seem to have floaters and some flashing but not sure if there is a connection. I feel like this past year I have lived at the clinic and feel like cold feet after the way the last Endo was, he was listed with Jerks by the Endos in Dallas!!!
          Well any response appreciated.
          Blessings Sally

            Post count: 93172

            Hi Sally,

            By all means get your eyes checked with a complete baseline exam so that your
            eyes can be monitored for any significant changes.
            Anyone who has been diagnosed with Graves’ should be working
            along with their endocrinologist and an opthamologist. I have been to
            endos who take the time to measure your eyes and watch for proptosis
            and if the eyes show any significant change they would refer you
            to an eye doctor. But it is better to develop a rapport with someone
            who specializes in the disease.


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