Graves’ orbitopathy is treated by a team of doctors: because it is a disease that affects several interconnected organ systems, a multidisciplinary approach is essential, one that includes an ophthalmologist and an endocrinologist, or a specialist in nuclear medicine. The treatment is carried out according to the international guidelines of the European Group on Graves’ orbitopathy. This is a multidisciplinary group of experts from a number of European centres (including the one from Croatia) that publish guidelines for diagnosis, clinical treatment and therapy.
The guidelines state that it is important to normalize the work of the thyroid gland as soon as possible and explain when to give which medicinal product for the eye changes, as well as in what dose. With severe forms of the disease, in addition to the use of medicinal products and treatment in the form of eye drops, subcutaneous injections, tablets and infusions, orbital radiation or surgical treatment of the eye is also considered.
What can the patient do?
It is necessary to take the prescribed medication regularly, have regular check-ups and stop smoking. Smoking is a leading risk factor, one that can easily be avoided, that affects the incidence, course and prognosis of the disease extremely negatively.
Finally, I will quote US President J. F. Kennedy: “Don’t ask what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” It is the same with the eyes: if the patient has Graves’ orbitopathy, the doctor’s instructions should be followed, unverified information involving dieting, iodine preparations and the like should not be trusted, and most importantly the patient should — STOP SMOKING!