Thyroid eye disease also known as Thyroid-Associated Ophthalmopathy (TAO) or Grave’s orbitopathy is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder that affects the thyroid gland and the eye orbit. It is usually characterized by eyelid retraction, swelling and bulging eyes and is quite often associated with Graves’ disease.
Your holistic optometrist uses a non-invasive imaging technology (Optical Coherence Tomography – OCT) that yields high-resolution cross-sectional images of the back of the eye, providing qualitative and quantitative data on the retina. Recent studies used this technology to measure the retinal nerve fiber layer and macular ring thicknesses to determine their relationship to the severity of TAO.
The OCT findings suggest that the retina is involved in TAO at the subclinical stage. This highlights the ability of OCT to identify RNFL changes earlier, enabling earlier diagnosis and more timely treatment to prevent severe visual consequences. These retinal nerve fiber layer changes are identified over a period of time when compared to a patient’s benchmark measurements. Optical Coherence Tomography can be part of ongoing proactive eye care that reveals retinal changes.
The severity of TAO varies and therefore treatment can range from medication to surgery. Early detection can contribute to diagnosis and treatment before the condition progresses too far. Contact your optometrist and book your eye appointment today.