Graves' Eye Disease, also known as Graves' Disease of the Eye, is an autoimmune condition. Your thyroid gland mistakenly detects harmful cells and releases antibodies to fight them. The antibodies fuse with muscles in your eye and cause many physical reactions. Some of the symptoms are bulging eyes, dry eyes, eyelid retraction, and/or red eyes. This post is a general intro to this very difficult disease, soon we will be adding many more resources to our resource library to help you understand Graves Disease of the Eye from an acupuncture/TCM point of view, and also how to manage some of the symptoms at home.
Common Conventional Treatments for
Graves Disease of the Eye
Radioactive Iodine: With this treatment you take radioiodine orally to reduce swelling. It goes into your thyroid cells and the radioactivity destroys them over time. Your thyroid gland shrinks and your neck may feel tender.
Anti-thyroid Medications: These are prescription drugs that interfere with how your thyroid uses iodine to produce hormones. Taking the medication for more than a year can lead to better long-term results. They are good supplements to radioiodine therapy. Some of the side-effects are liver failure and a decrease in white blood cells that fight diseases.
Surgery: This is the most invasive treatment option. It involves removing part or all of your thyroid. The advantage of getting the surgery is it is the most permanent way to restore normal thyroid hormone levels. The risks associated with it are bleeding, infection, scarring and the possible need for thyroid hormone replacement.
Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are steroid hormones that are from the human body or man-made. You can take them orally or by injection. The intravenous hormones are more effective for moderate to severe cases of the disease.
Graves???s eye disease causes the muscles and soft tissues within your eye socket to swell. This pushes your eyeball forward and causes various eye problems. Treatments involve taking steps to protect your eye as the disease progresses. There are several options and all of them have side effects. Thyroid eye disease sometimes is often related to thyroid gland function abnormality.
Again, this post is only intended as a brief primer. Please subscribe to our blog or check the Resource Library regularly,we will be adding more interesting content from an acupuncture point of view.
In the meantime, if you have any questions about Grave's Disease, how it affects the eyes, or what the alternative treatment options are,...