Graves' Orbitopathy is a condition associated with swelling of the tissue in the orbit creating bulging of the eyes. It is associated with Graves’ disease; a condition that causes over-activity of the thyroid gland, the gland that sets the rate of metabolism in the body.
- Swelling in the orbital tissues which causes the eye to be pushed forward -- known as exophthalmos, creating the wide-eyed or bulging stare that characterizes the condition
- Pain in the eyes when looking up or down
- Dryness and itching in the eyes
- Double vision
- Temporary or permanent loss of vision in severe cases
Graves' Orbitopathy is usually caused by Graves’ disease. However, the condition can be associated with other diseases such as Thyroid Eye Disease or Hashimoto's Disease.
Most patients who present to the Johns Hopkins Sinus Center with this condition have been evaluated by an ophthalmologist and have been diagnosed with Graves' Orbitopathy. At the Johns Hopkins Sinus Center:
- Your doctor will ask for a complete medical history and will perform a thorough physical examination.
- Nasal endoscopy is performed on all patients in the clinic using a small lighted scope with a camera. This painless procedure allows our sinus doctors to examine the inside of the nose and sinuses. This will help our doctors plan the endoscopic surgery.
- Sinus computed tomography (CT) scans are obtained for most patients. These provide a detailed image of the inside of the sinuses.
- Your doctor will discuss treatment options available to you, including Orbital Decompression.
The doctors in the Sinus Center collaborate with experts in the Wilmer Department of Opthalmology to surgically manage patients with exophthalmus due to Graves' disease. The endoscopic approach allows our surgeons to safely and effectively decompress the medial and inferior walls of the orbit to reduce pressure on the eye and restore it to a more natural position.