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Thyroid UK
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Does Graves’ Orbitopathy [Thyroid Eye Disease] Ever Disappear Answers to an Old Question


Objectives: There is a general belief that Graves’ orbitopathy (GO) is a “chronic” disease, namely that patients’ eyes do not return to how they were before GO appeared. Here, we investigate this issue from both the patient’s and the physician’s point of view. Study Design: We studied the disappearance of GO, regardless of treatment, in all consecutive patients with a GO history of at least 10 years who came for a follow-up visit over a period of 5 years. Patients underwent an ophthalmological examination and were asked to answer a questionnaire on self-perception related to GO. Results: We studied 99 consecutive patients with a GO duration ≥10 years. Between the first and the last observation, patients received several types of treatment for their thyroid disease and/or for GO. At the end of follow-up, GO was considered disappeared based on objective criteria in 8 patients (∼8%) and based on subjective criteria in 24 patients (∼24%). When we considered both subjective and objective criteria, only 2 patients (∼2%) had all criteria fulfilled and could be considered as GO-free. Conclusions: GO is a chronic disease in the vast majority of patients. Even after a very long time since its onset, complete disappearance is rare, although a minority of patients believe they do not have GO anymore and an even lower proportion do not have relevant GO signs. Our findings have obvious implications in patient management and counseling.


6 Replies

Interesting. My ted goes into remission from time to time & when in remission causes no problems to me at all. At other times it flares up and can be quite debilitating. I only have it relatively mildly but have had it over 10 years. Gluten free diet has helped.



I found this article about it.


This is a late reply but my cousin had a serious case of Graves OG and her eyes are pretty normal now after treatment. She took RAI for Graves and now lives on Levo.

I had Graves too, but not the same type. I had it concentrated on heart and my heart was pretty much exhausted... maybe it delayed me finding out I had Graves.



Is there more than one type of Graves disease?


Not really, but the effects of Graves can be pretty different. Almost like two different types.

Some people doesn't have any eye trouble while others, like my cousin, had devastating eye trouble that she was forced into early retirement from the Airline she worked for.

My Graves was pretty much concentrated on my heart and at times I thought I was going to have a heart attack. After diagnosing I was not allowed to walk or to take the stairs in my own home... I moved my sleeping room to the TV room downstairs. My Graves took longer time to end because I got seriously allergic to Carbi and until fully recovered I was put in steroids for some months and I had to clean it before taking RAI.



It may have been the steroids which protected your eyes.


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