Left eye is bulging because of Graves and the eye is drying out a lot. What is the best treatment for this?

What is the best treatment of this--and is the orbital decompression safe and effective? I am a 81 year old female. Dallas area, please

Doctor Answers 4

Left eye is bulging because of Graves and the eye is drying out a lot. What is the best treatment for this?

Hello Dottietravis,

Graves' disease can cause all kinds of eye issues.  The best treatment depends on what is going on.  I'd recommend you see an ophthalmologist or an oculoplastic surgeon to learn what is best for you.

I hope this helps and good luck. 


The Woodlands Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 25 reviews

Left eye is bulging because of Graves and the eye is drying out a lot. What is the best treatment for this?

Best to see an ophthalmologist and oculoplastic surgeon for complete personal evaluation. If the eyeball is bulging and it is stable, then you may be a candidate for orbital decompression surgery. Sometimes eyelid retraction can cause the same problem and eyelid retraction surgery would be done. See following link.

Mehryar (Ray) Taban, MD, FACS
Beverly Hills Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 62 reviews

So sorry you have to deal with this.

Treatment for thyroid eye disease is very complex and this is not the right forum to discuss this complex illness.  My free ebook does discuss how thyroid eye disease is managed.  I recommend seeing a surgeon to provides comprehensive care for thyroid eye disease.  In the Dallas area there are several excellent fellowship trained oculoplastic surgeons.  Consider asking for your general ophthalmologist for an appropriate referral for definitive care.  

Kenneth D. Steinsapir, MD
Los Angeles Oculoplastic Surgeon
4.9 out of 5 stars 23 reviews

Protect the cornea!

The reason for bulging of the eyes in Grave's is deposit of substances called glycoaminoglycans in the orbit, effectively making the eye socket too small to house the eye contents. If the bulging of your eyes is affecting your ability to achieve full eyelid closure leading the dryness of your eyes, first priority is to protect your cornea by applying lacrilube and artificial tears to your eye and taping your eyelids closed while you sleep. 

Second priority is to see an endocrinologist to get your hyperthyroid state in check. Sometimes this can be done medically, and other times it needs a surgical approach to remove the overactive thyroid gland.

Once this is done, a definitive approach to "decompress" the orbit can be done. In our practice, we perform both endoscopic medial decompression and open lateral decompression just depending on patient's particular case and anatomy. I hope you find this answer helpful.

Masoud Saman, MD
Plano Facial Plastic Surgeon
5.0 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.