Treatment Options for Thyroid Eye or Graves’ Disease
One of the other conditions that I deal with on a frequent basis is a condition known as thyroid eye disease or Graves’ eye disease. It goes by many names – Graves’ orbitopathy, thyroid-associated with orbitopathy, but basically it’s an autoimmune condition where the body amounts an immune response, an immune reaction to both the thyroid and to the tissues in the
And this can cause swelling and expansion of the muscles and the fat inside the eye socket. It can push the eyeball forward and make the eyelids retract.
It can make it so that the muscles don’t move properly and cause double vision and, in the worst cases, it can cause so much pressure in the eye socket that Most of the time the condition can be treated in its acute phase.
Sometimes though, such as in the case where the optic nerve is being compressed, it does require surgical intervention and that usually involves what’s called an orbital decompression where one
or more of the walls of the eye socket and sometimes the fat inside the eye socket are removed in order to create more room inside the eyesocket for those expanded orbital tissues that decreases the pressure in the eye socket, restores the normal blood flow to the optic nerve and can restore vision to the patient. When it comes to the orbital decompression one of the things that I’ve had the opportunity o utilize technology-wise is a technology called ultrasonic bone aspiration.
This is a technology that’s been around for at least fifteen years or so but I’ve had the opportunity to use it frequently in the setting of orbital decompression for thyroid-related orbitopathy. And the traditional way to remove bone from the eye socket is to use a high-speed drill but the ultrasonic bone aspirator does it in a much more
gentle fashion and in a way that poses less risk to the orbital soft tissues and also to tissues behind the eye socket which can include the lining of the brain.
I have had the opportunity to use the ultrasonic bone aspirator on a number of occasions and that’s also a technology that we have available here at The Ohio State University