Ted’s Thyroid Eye Disease Journey

Ted, an orbital decompression patient of Dr. Raymond Douglas, tells us about his thyroid eye disease journey.


I was diagnosed in 2000 with Graves’ disease. I was being very stubborn and didn’t go to the doctor – I had trouble sleeping, I lost 60 pounds and I was always exhausted. My wife looked at me one day and finally said, “you need to go to the doctor.” So I went to my general physician and he looked at me and said I think you have thyroid eye disease. I had no idea what that was. Then I went to an endocrinologist and after some blood work I was officially diagnosed and my thyroid eye disease journey began.

Dr. Douglas

How was your thyroid treated?


One treatment of the radiation pill in 2001. And then I started taking thyroid supplements.

Dr. Douglas

When did you notice the eye changes?


It was around 2007 or 2008, so several years after when I started experiencing the changes in my eyes. I would wake up in the morning with a lot of irritation. It was about another 3 years later in 2011 when I learned what the eye problem was – my eyes weren’t closing all the way when I was sleeping so that’s why they were getting so irritated.

Dr. Douglas

When we met you were having trouble with vision and your eyes were really bulgy. When you started thinking about having orbital decompression, what were the thoughts going through your head?


I had an MRI on my eyes to make sure the optic nerve wasn’t being compressed. At that time, about 3 years ago, I probably watched a few videos online about the process of orbital decompression. They weren’t your videos and they seemed very intrusive. In January 2018 I did another MRI and I started doing some research and I found you. I watched all of your videos and felt that it was time to explore the option of surgery more.

Dr. Douglas

What was the experience of having an orbital decompression like?


Even just starting with the consultation with you, it was so refreshing to get so much information about thyroid eye disease and orbital decompression. The consultation truly put my mind at ease and I was ready to commit to the surgery right away. Every step after that was top-notch; your staff was excellent. I had to fly in to town and you made it really easy for me by giving me options on where to stay and I was able to fly home not long after surgery.

My left eye was the first surgery and that was the more extensive side, so I was nervous. That night in the hotel I didn’t feel the pressure on the back side anymore! I was amazed the pain was already gone.

Dr. Douglas

How was the recovery process for you?


Recovery seemed to be easier than what I was expecting. There was some swelling and discomfort after the first surgery that was more extensive, but the second surgery was a piece of cake. I truly think I could have flown home the day of surgery because I felt so great.

Dr. Douglas

How have you been since surgery?


The eye pressure is gone which is great! I don’t get headaches anymore. The recovery has been much much easier than I thought it was going to be. I still have some issues with sleeping – I wear an eye mask to help. When I look back at pictures, I do see a difference. My wife, family and friends can all see the big difference.

If you are having the issues I was having with the eye pain, headaches and discomfort, this surgery is totally worth it. It will change your life! I thought I was stuck where I was at and you have really changed my quality of life. You and your staff are incredible people! I just thank you so much!

See More Thyroid Eye Disease Journeys

Renee’s Thyroid Eye Disease Journey

Rebecca’s Thyroid Eye Disease Journey

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Posted in: Orbital Decompression Surgery, Thyroid Eye Disease

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