The Warning Signs of Optic Neuropathy

Dr. Douglas continually ensures that his current and prospective patients are as informed about any and all complications that can arise from thyroid eye disease. One very serious, though rare, condition that can occur is called optic neuropathy, which is damage to the optic nerve.

Sign 1: Dry Eye and Blurry Vision

Many patients with thyroid eye disease complain of vision problems once the eye bulges out. The eye becomes more susceptible to the wind and drying out, and is especially vulnerable overnight, which can affect your sleep. While this is frustrating, there are things you can do to improve your quality of life ahead of surgery or treatment, such as eye drops, lubrications, and other various solutions. If you have these symptoms, that certainly doesn’t mean you have optic neuropathy. Instead, these symptoms should be a signal for you to stay vigilant about your vision and seek medical attention if you have the symptoms of Sign 2.

Sign 2: Dim Vision

While many patients experience dry eye and blurry vision, in about 5% of patients, that’s only the tip of the iceberg.

When the muscle gets very, very enlarged and forms large amounts of scar tissue, that begins to compress the nerve that connects the eye to the brain. These enlarged muscles squeeze the blood supply to the nerve, which can severely limit or even cause a full loss of vision.

If you are experiencing a dimming of your vision, where everything becomes darker and colors aren’t as bright, please seek the expertise of a medical professional such as Dr. Douglas for further consultation or to be referred to an ophthalmologist.


Recently, Dr. Douglas treated a patient suffering from optic neuropathy, and from a simple decompression where the surgery was designed to take the pressure off the nerve, the patient’s issues were solved, with minimal change to his appearance. The important thing to remember is that even though optic neuropathy is rare and very serious, it can be treated. Whether it’s solved with medication, or with surgery, arm yourself with the knowledge of what to look out for so you can seek out help.

Contact Dr. Douglas Today!

If you or someone you know is suffering from thyroid eye disease, contact our office today to schedule an appointment with Dr. Douglas – 310.657.4302. If you do not live in Los Angeles, ask us about our Out of Town Patient programs.

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