Thyroid Eye Disease: A rare threat

Thyroid Eye Disease: A rare threat

Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) is an autoimmune condition that affects the tissues around the eyes, specifically the muscles and fat. Causing eye bulging, dryness, irritation, double vision, and in severe cases, vision loss. It mostly associates itself with an overactive thyroid (Graves’ disease) but can also occur in individuals with an underactive thyroid or no thyroid disease at all. The exact cause is unknown, but it is believed to be a result of the immune system mistakenly attacking the eye tissues. Treatment depends on the intensity of the disease and may include artificial tears, sunglasses, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, and surgery.

Graves’ Disease

Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the thyroid gland, causing it to become overactive and produce excessive amounts of hormones. This is hyperthyroidism. Symptoms of Graves’ disease can include weight loss, increased appetite, sweating, rapid heartbeat, nervousness, irritability, and fatigue. Because in some cases, Graves’ disease can also cause an eye condition called Thyroid Eye Disease (TED), which affects the tissues around the eyes and can lead to eye bulging, dryness, irritation, double vision, and in severe cases, vision loss. Treatment options for Graves’ disease include anti-thyroid medications, radioactive iodine, and surgery to remove the thyroid gland.

Treatment Overview Thyroid eye disease

Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) treatment depends on the severity and progression of the disease, as well as the patient’s overall health and symptoms. The following are some common treatments for TED:

  1. Artificial tears and ointments: To relieve dryness and discomfort in the eyes.
  2. Sunglasses: To protect the eyes from exposure to light and wind.
  3. Corticosteroids: To reduce inflammation and swelling in the eye tissues.
  4. Immunosuppressants: To inhibit the immune system and prevent further damage to the eye tissues.
  5. Orbital decompression surgery: To create more space for the eye in the socket and relieve pressure.
  6. Eyelid surgery: To correct drooping or retraction of the eyelids.
  7. Muscle surgery: To realign the eye muscles and improve double vision.

The goal of treatment is to prevent or correct vision loss and improve eye comfort and appearance. It is important to work closely with an eye specialist to determine the best treatment plan for your individual needs.


Tepezza (teprotumumab-trbw) is a monoclonal antibody drug that treats Thyroid Eye Disease (TED). TED is a condition in which the tissues around the eyes, including the muscles and fat, become inflamed and cause eye bulging, dryness, itching, double vision, and in severe cases, vision loss. Tepezza works by blocking a protein called insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF-1R), which develops and progresses TED.

Tepezza is administered intravenously and is typically given once every three weeks for a total of eight doses. The drug has been shown to be effective in reducing eye bulging. Improving double vision, and improving quality of life in patients with moderate to severe TED. Therefore, like all medications, Tepezza can cause side effects and may not be suitable for everyone. It is important to discuss the potential benefits and risks of Tepezza with your healthcare provider to determine if it is the right treatment option for you.