Gary Joseph Lelli, MD, of the Department of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medicine, discusses the importance of finding a specialist for thyroid eye disease (TED) and how to find one.

TED is a rare autoimmune disease causing permanent facial disfigurement which can severely affect patients’ quality of life and daily function. TED is most often associated with Graves’ disease (GD), but also can occur in association with hypothyroidism, euthyroidism, and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. GD affects approximately 1% to 2% of the adult population, with an estimated 20-50% of GD patients subsequently developing TED over the course of their lifetime.

As is the case with most rare diseases, one of the first steps in the treatment process for TED is finding a specialist, more specifically an oculoplastic specialist and a neuro-ophthalmologist. As Dr. Lelli notes, there are a number of ways to manage TED depending on a patient’s specific symptoms and severity. Treatments range from symptom management to therapies that target the progressive inflammation as well as surgical options.

To find a specialist – and to learn more about TED in general – Dr. Lelli encourages patients to go to www.FOCUSonTED.com. The website has a tool to search for specialists by zip code. Additionally, the website has a number of methods to keep track of symptoms including a Selfie Tracker.

For more information about TED and other rare eye disorders, visit checkrare.com/diseases/ophthalmology