What Causes Graves’ Eye Disease and Can It Be Treated?

Graves disease is a form of autoimmune issue that causes the thyroid gland to release too much thyroid hormone (hyperthyroidism). Graves syndrome is often the root cause of hyperthyroidism.

Graves disease involves an overactive thyroid gland, resulting in thyroid hormone excess production and hyperthyroidism. Treatment is relatively easy. And, if left unchecked, it can have severe consequences.

During pregnancy, untreated hyperthyroidism may lead to the health complications of a mother and baby. Graves’ disease may also affect the diagnosed person’s eyes and body.

Graves disease usually affects people between the ages of 30 and 50, but it can occur at any time. Among women, the disease is 7-8 times more severe than in men. The risk of a person contracting the disease increases if other members of the family have been diagnosed with Graves disease.

Graves ‘ disease could cause some serious health problems without treatment, including:

  • An eye disease called Graves’ ophthalmopathy, which can cause double vision, light sensitivity, eye pain — and sometimes, can lead to vision loss.
  • An irregular heartbeat that can cause blood clots, stroke, heart failure, and other heart problems
  • Thinning bones and osteoporosis 

What is Graves’ ophthalmopathy?

Graves’ Eye Disease

Around 30% of people with Graves disease show some signs and symptoms of Graves’ ophthalmopathy. In Graves’ ophthalmopathy, muscles and other tissues around the eyes are damaged by inflammation. The signs and symptoms may include:

  • Double vision
  • Gritty sensation in the eyes
  • Puffy or retracted eyelids
  • Bulging eyes 
  • Reddened or inflamed eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Pressure or pain in the eyes
  • Vision loss

A series of procedures may fix the protruding appearance of your eyes, improve blurred vision, place the eyelids in the right position, and resolve the physical changes that sometimes come with the condition.

Orbital decompression surgery is intended to remove bone and/or fat from the back of the eye so that the eye can return back to the socket. The surgery gives the enlarged muscles that have formed with the disease more room behind the eye.


Graves ‘ early symptoms can be confused with other disorders, making diagnosis tricky.

Some of the most common symptoms include losing weight despite increased appetite, anxiety, sweating, shortness of breath, chest pains, chest tightness, breathing difficulties, increased heart rate, menstrual irregularities, muscle weakness, difficulty controlling diabetes, protruding eyes, and impaired vision.


Graves’ Eye Disease

There are a variety of Graves’ disease treatment available. 

There are several things that can help with Graves’ eye disease: eye drops, gels, and ointments can go a long way to alleviate dryness. You may need to take a steroid called prednisone for a few weeks to bring down the swelling if you have a lot of swelling — particularly if it leads to double vision or vision loss.

In rare instances when these do not work, the doctor can suggest surgery to remove any tissue from your eye socket or radiation therapy, where high-energy X-rays penetrate the muscles of the eye.

Graves’ ophthalmopathy tends to improve after a couple of years, but with surgery, you may have eye problems that need to be fixed. You may need surgery to relieve pain and tension on your optic nerve, correct your eye muscle alignment, or ensure that your eyelids shield and protect your eyes.

A type of procedure called orbital decompression is performed when your vision is threatened. In this surgery, a bone is removed between the eye socket (orbit) and sinuses to allow the swollen tissues more space. A medical facility with expertise in this area is necessary for this more complex operation.

Maintaining thyroid blood levels in the normal range is critical. There is a substantial risk of becoming hypothyroid (an underactive gland) following the treatment of an overactive thyroid. The replacement of thyroid is important to keep Graves’ eye disease from becoming worse.

When To See A Doctor

Different medical conditions may cause the signs and symptoms of Graves’ disease. In order to get a prompt and accurate diagnosis, see your doctor immediately if you experience any potential issues related to Graves’ disease.

When you notice any changes in your eye’s appearance or if you experience any of the symptoms of Graves’ eye disease, schedule a consultation with your doctor immediately.

If you are in search of the best Orbital decompression for Graves’ Ophthalmopathy Surgeon in Dubai, then look no further than the Dome MedDental Clinic. 

We are very proud to have one of the world’s best Specialized Surgeons in this treatment, Professor in French University, Pr Pierre BOULETREAU is an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon.

He is world-renowned for his expertise in Orthognathic Surgery and Orbital decompression for Graves’ Ophthalmopathy

He is considered and recognized as one of the top dental surgeons in France and has been teaching Surgery for years and he is currently a professor at a French University in Lyon.

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