Patients with thyroid abnormalities (usually overactive thyroid, less frequently underactive, and rarely normal thyroid function) often manifest eyelid and orbital (eye socket) disease.
The upper and/or lower eyelids retract (see right) and the eyes appear bigger or bulge. Patients may also experience double vision, excessive tearing, light sensitivity, and rarely, vision loss. Because symptoms of early thyroid eye disease are often vague, it may go undiagnosed for a long time unless the physician is familiar with the disease and its manifestations. Various medical and surgical treatments are available to patients with this condition.
Conditions affecting the eye socket (orbit) range from fractures to tumors, to inflammatory conditions. Early and diagnosis and correct management by an experienced oculofacial plastic surgeon are critical to ensure that the best possible outcome is achieved.