Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine that sees a lot of proptosis cases. Proptosis causes your eyeballs to protrude or appear bulging from your eye socket. It can affect one or both of your eyes. Common symptoms include conjunctivitis and corneal dryness.
However, this condition is usually a sign of some other health problem. Read on to find out how to treat proptosis caused by Graves' Disease.
Understand How This Disease Affects Your Thyroid Gland
Graves' disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes you to have an overactive thyroid gland that creates more hormones. An overproduction of thyroid hormones is called hyperthyroidism. Your thyroid is located in your neck just below your Adam's apple. It produces hormones that regulate the rate of your metabolism, growth and other bodily functions. When the hormones are overproduced, the thyroid increases in size.
It is because of Graves' Disease that proptosis occurs. This disease causes your immune system to attack the muscles and soft tissues around your eyes. It causes them to become inflamed and swollen. Other symptoms may include dry and gritty eyes, vision problems, redness and puffy eyes.
An ophthalmologist will examine you and decide on a treatment plan. Treatment depends on age, the cause of your condition and your general health. If you are a smoker, then you should quit immediately. This bad habit causes proptosis to get worse and makes it difficult to treat.
Treat the Hyperthyroidism
Your doctor needs to treat you for thyroid problems and bring your hormone levels back to normal. The production of thyroid hormones must be slowed down. Radioiodine therapy is one of the ways to treat Graves' Disease.
This therapy requires you to take radioactive iodine in your mouth. Iodine is essential for your thyroid to produce hormones. The radioiodine gets into your thyroid cells and destroys the overactive thyroid cells. However, this process occurs over time. It also causes your symptoms to gradually minimize and shrinks your thyroid gland. You will have to take additional treatments to get your thyroid hormones production back to normal.
If you are diagnosed with a serious condition, then you should explore your treatment options. There is more than one way to overcome an illness. It also may take getting a second opinion. Regardless, you should choose a doctor who can make a treatment plan that alleviates your discomfort. It starts by making an appointment and getting a diagnosis.