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Graves' ophthalmopathy is an autoimmune disease that can occur in people with Graves' disease. In Graves' ophthalmopathy the tissues and muscles behind the eyes become swollen. The eyeballs may stick out farther than normal. This can occur
before, after, or at the same time as other signs of
Most people who develop Graves' ophthalmopathy have one or more of
the following symptoms:
You will likely have an eye exam to make sure you do not have another
eye problem, such as a tumor.
To help reduce dryness and discomfort, your doctor will treat your
symptoms of Graves' ophthalmopathy. He or she will use artificial tears, medicated eyedrops,
and protective glasses or sunglasses. If the condition is diagnosed early, you
nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as
aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen, to relieve pain and inflammation. Be safe with medicines. Read and follow all instructions on the label.
Treatment will depend on how severe your symptoms are. Treatments may include corticosteroid medicines, immunosuppressants,
radiation therapy, thyroid surgery, or eye surgery.
Ophthalmopathy may get worse if your thyroid levels are out of
balance. It may also get worse temporarily if you are given radioactive iodine
Smoking increases your chances of developing Graves' ophthalmopathy. And it can make the condition worse.
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Other Works Consulted
Ross DS, et al. (2016). 2016 American Thyroid Association guidelines for the diagnosis and management of hyperthyroidism and other causes of thyrotoxicosis. Thyroid, 26(10): 1343-1421. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1089/thy.2016.0229. Accessed September 1, 2017.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal MedicineKathleen Romito, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerDavid C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Current as ofFebruary 22, 2018
Current as of:
February 22, 2018
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
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