Thyroid Eye Disease – Know Everything About This Eye Disorder

Thyroid Eye Disease – Know Everything About This Eye Disorder

Several eye issues occur at some point of time due to several reasons. One of the major issues is the thyroid eye disorder. Yes, this is also an eye issue that takes place due to several reasons. However, we will go through the different causes, symptoms, treatments and preventions in this blog.

So, if you are willing to know everything about thyroid eye disorder then you should definitely read this blog. But, first of all, let us know what is thyroid eye disorder.

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Thyroid Eye Disease

thyroid eye disorder-image

Thyroid eye disease is an eye issue in which the eye muscles as well as the fatty tissue behind the eye become inflamed. This causes the eyes to push forward and the eyelids and the eyes to become read and swallow. In most of the cases, it has been found that there are stiffness and swelling of the muscles that used to move the eyes so that the eyes are no longer in line with each other. Sometimes, this issue also causes double vision.

Very rarely, thyroid eye disease can also cause blindness due to the pressure on the nerve at the back of the eye or ulcers while forming on the front of the eyes. Thyroid eye disorder is an autoimmune disease that also occurs when the body’s immune system attacks the back of the eyes and further causes eye inflammation.

This disease is actually associated with an over-active thyroid because of Graves’ disease. This is the most common cause of an over-active thyroid which is also known as hyperthyroidism. In another term, it is also known as Graves’ Orbitopathy.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Thyroid Eye Disease?

Several common symptoms are there that may help you identify that you have thyroid eye disease. Have a look at the below symptoms of thyroid eye disorder.

  • Dry eyes or watery eyes
  • Change in the appearance of the eyes
  • Swelling or feeling of fullness in both upper eyelids
  • Dislike of bright lights
  • Double or blurred vision
  • Bags under eyes
  • Pain in the eyelids
  • Difficulty while moving the eyes
  • Redness of the eyelids
  • Eyelid inflammation

What Causes Thyroid Eye Disease?

A normal body immune system distinguishes very clearly between the foreign tissue and the body tissue or substances. The autoimmune disorders are characterized by the production of antibodies against the normal tissue. Graves’ disease is generally caused due to the abnormal antibody attack on the thyroid gland which generally results in over or under thyroid hormone’s production.

This antibody can also attack eye tissue and can also cause other several eye symptoms. People who smoke are at higher risk for thyroid eye disorder. If they suffer from this eye disease then they can have more severe and prolonged course of the disease.

There are several people who ask for ‘can a thyroid problem cause mental illness?’ Well, the answer is no. As I have already mentioned in the above section if this blog that due to thyroid eye disorder, people may have eye vision issue. But, there is no one who can notice any mental illness due to TED.

Who Gets Thyroid Eye Disease?

Thyroid eye disease has no age limits; it can occur at any age, but most probably it occurs after the age of 45. There are three times as many females with an eye disorder. Graves’ disease causes droopy eyelids and is actually an autoimmune disease. This eye issue is actually associated with the hyperthyroidism from Graves’ disease. But, sometimes it may also occur in people who have other thyroid types like euthyroid and hypothyroid.


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How Is Thyroid Eye Disease Treated?

How Is Thyroid Eye Disease Treated?

Sometimes people ask ‘Is thyroid eye disease curable’? Well, yes, it is curable. When you suspect that you have thyroid eye disease then appropriate treatment and evaluation are indicated.  The very first priority is to set restore the euthyroid condition. If you are a thyroid infected person then you should evaluate and treat eye conditions simultaneously. It has been found that most of the time eye issues continue to progress even after the thyroid abnormally returns to normal. You should consult an ophthalmologist to evaluate and treat your eye conditions.

Well, the treatment of thyroid disease depends on the severity and the degree of the disease. This eye issue can be classified as follows:

Active Disease

The tissues are generally inflamed as indicated by redness, swelling and as well as pain. Corneal abrasion/exposure/drying generally needs a frequent application of artificial tear, taping the eyelids, treat duct plugs shut at night.

Your doctor may prescribe a course of steroids after examining the degree of activity. Some other medications that regulate the immunity may also be added to the treatment.

Vision Threatening Complications

Two complications are there that can cause the patient to lose eye vision. The complications should be carefully sought and then managed promptly to save eye vision. The two complications are:

  1. Compression of the optic nerve by the swollen tissues: This complication can be managed by oral steroids and in non-responsive cases. Sometimes, surgeries can also be done to remove the bones around the eye to relieve the compression. Also, orbital radiation can be considered with other treatment modalities.
  1. Ulcer of the cornea due to severe dryness, generally caused by the difficulty and proptosis closing the eyelids fully: This eye complication can be managed medically by lubricating eye ointments/drops, taping eyelids closed at night, eye cover or even eye surgery to close the eyelids together to protect the eye.

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Inactive, Fibrotic, Stable Phase

This phase generally includes strabismus, proptosis and eyelid retraction. Sometimes, ophthalmologist suggests orbital decompression surgery to be performed to disfiguring proptosis even if the eye vision is not compromised. This surgery is preferred to perform the decompression surgery before the eyelid surgery or strabismus.

With the help of this surgery, stable diplopia can also be improved with the prism spectacles or surgery of the strabismus misalignment is quite larger.

Strabismus surgery corrects the repositioning fibrotic eye muscles to better align the eyes. Eyelid retraction can also be improved with surgery that relaxes eyelid muscles or insects spacer materials in order to do eyelid repositioning.


Before-After Image After Getting Treated With These Above Treatments

How To Prevent Thyroid Eye Disease

When it comes to preventing thyroid eye disorder, there are several people who ask for ‘can I do anything to prevent TED from getting worse?’ Well, yes, there are some prevention tips you can follow to prevent thyroid eye disease. Most probably, there are three things you can do to prevent this eye disorder:

Selenium Supplements: The evidence suggests that patients with mild active Thyroid Eye Disorder may benefit from a six-month course of selenium supplements at a dose of 100mcg two times a day which you can buy over the counter.

Avoid Smoking: If you are a smoker then you should definitely give it up. You can ask your doctor for advice on how to quit smoking. Those who have this eye disorder and continue to smoking respond less well to treatments. Also, ex-smokers can follow a course of Propylthiouracil (PTU) or Carbimazole (CMZ) treatment.

Avoid Fluctuations In Your Thyroid Levels: Always go for a regular hyperthyroidism test and ask your doctor how and when to take medications for this. With this, it will help you make the thyroid levels normal and steady. It will then give your eyes the best opportunity to heal and improve the way you feel.


Well, thyroid eye disease is very irritating and painful eye disorder that lead you to face several issues. However, there are some common symptoms and causes that are already mentioned in the above sections of this blog. So, I hope you have learned about them very well. If your eye disorder is not so severe then try to treat the symptoms so that you can help cure thyroid eye disease. Or, if it becomes severe then you have to follow the thyroid eye disease treatment options mentioned in the above section.


Thyroid Eye Disease – Know Everything About This Eye Disorder
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Thyroid Eye Disease – Know Everything About This Eye Disorder
Do not worry if you are suffering from thyroid eye disease, just try the effective treatments mentioned in this blog and get rid of thyroid eye disorder forever. Also, know its causes, symptoms, preventions and more.
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