What exactly is it? How does it affect your eyes?
Hey CaMama -
You ready? Here goes:
Grave's disease, is also known as thyroid eye disease or thyroid orbitopathy, is the most common cause of proptosis (protruding eye) in adults. Women are affected nine times more often than men are.... Lucky me! Most patients present with symptoms between 20 and 45 years of age... (I'm 32.. hhhmmmm) One or both eyes may be proptotic (protruding) and the eyelids retracted, creating a staring appearance. The upper eyelids tend to lag behind the eye as the patient looks down. Because of the greater exposure of the eye, dry eye symptoms (e.g., burning, stinging, etc.) may be present. There is often redness of the eyes and swelling of the ocular surface (conjunctiva). Because the eye extraocular muscles enlarge in this condition, double vision may occur due to limited motility of the eye. Also, because there is inflammation of orbital (eye socket) fat and enlargement of the eye muscles, there may be compression of the optic nerve resulting in optic neuropathy. This latter condition may lead to permanent visual loss. This condition, which may occur weeks or months after treatment is completed, is very similar to diabetic retinopathy. Surgical procedures such as orbital decompression (to decrease proptosis) and strabismus surgery (to realign the eyes) are usually reserved until the disease is quiescent, typically 3 to 5 years after onset.
I've had this since I was first diagnosied with Graves in 1998. I've also got a "moon face" and "buffalo hump" due to taking heavy doses of Prednisone for a long period of time.
My eyes constantly hurt, I get awful headaches and they are always dry and itchy... I've had 2 eyelid surgeries (blepharoplasty) and it doesn't help. Plus I just want to look normal again...
So there you have it..
Bless You is right! Wow, Ducky. I cannot believe this situation you have been going through. Does this eye problem happen when the disease is uncontrolled or is it roulette based on the seriousness of the disease.
I thought the 'moon face' was a result of the disease, not the steroids.
My thoughts are with you praying that you find relief and solutions soon.
Hey Inkpen -
Glad you found my post informative. No I haven't been to that forum, but will check it out, thanks. I haven't heard that the RAI was bad for you, I just knew I couldn't take it since I was pregnant. My son was born just fine. The doctors didn't think that he would make it due to the heavy doses of all the meds I was on, since they were aggressively treating my thyroid, but he hung in there. He only had a 15% chance of survival during the surgery and the surgery was only supposed to take 3 hours, but ended up taking 7. They were going to do a partial thyroidectomy, but once they got in there, they decided to take it all.
I have not been pregnant since. Pregnancies are very hard on me... Each pregnancy I've had, I've been high risk due to pre-term labor and some other issues... My OB/GYN said after the birth of my son that if I got pregnant again, it would kill me...My son's pregnancy almost did, but I refused to medically abort like they wanted. I figured if God had intended for me to loose this child, then I would miscarry, but they weren't gonna take him from me.
Have you been seen by an Opthamalogist? If not, I would recommend one, just to check you out now and get a baseline started, that way if you did develop the Eye Disease, they can chart it and figure out what the best plan of attack would be. I didn't get told that I was to be seen regularly by an Opthamalogist until last year, ridiculous huh?
Good luck to you, and please let me know your progress... - Duck