Medically reviewed by Raymond Douglas, M.D., Ph.D., Cedars-Sinai
November 14-20, 2022 is Thyroid Eye Illness Consciousness Week.
What’s thyroid eye illness (TED)?
Thyroid eye illness, or TED, is an autoimmune dysfunction that causes irritation within the eye muscular tissues, eyelids, tear glands and fatty tissues behind the attention. TED is usually referred to as Graves’ ophthalmopathy or Graves’ Eye Illness. It is because TED most frequently happens as a part of Graves’ illness — an autoimmune situation that causes your immune system to assault the wholesome tissue of your thyroid, pores and skin and eyes.
In case you have Graves’ illness, you could have an elevated probability of growing thyroid eye illness. However TED is a uncommon illness and completely different from Graves’ illness and requires completely different remedy. Graves’ illness is the most typical explanation for hyperthyroidism, the place your physique produces an excessive amount of thyroid hormone. TED may also happen with hypothyroidism, the place your physique produces too little thyroid hormone, however that is a lot much less widespread. When thyroid hormone ranges go up and down, it will probably make your TED signs worse. Thyroid eye illness is extra widespread in ladies, however is usually extra extreme in males.
Phases of thyroid eye illness (TED)
There are two phases of TED: lively (additionally referred to as acute) and inactive (additionally referred to as power). TED begins with an lively part the place you immediately start to expertise signs. This part can final from about 6 months to 2 years. Throughout the inactive part, many of the signs are inclined to get higher, however that is solely short-term. Scar tissue can type within the eyelid and eye muscle throughout the inactive part.
What could make thyroid eye illness (TED) worse?
Sure elements can set off signs or trigger flare-ups.
- Fluctuating hormones, corresponding to in being pregnant
- Eye trauma or surgical procedure
- Different autoimmune situations corresponding to Sort 1 diabetes, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis
- Steroid use
What are the signs of thyroid eye illness (TED)?
TED is a severe illness that may worsen over time. Most individuals who’ve a thyroid situation corresponding to Graves’ illness begin noticing eye signs inside the first 6 months. These signs can embrace:
- Dry, itching or gritty eyes
- Eye tearing or redness
- Ache behind the attention
- Puffy pores and skin across the eyes or eyelid swelling
- Double imaginative and prescient
- Misaligned eyes or eyes that don’t work collectively
- Bulging eyes (proptosis or exophthalmos)
- Sensitivity to mild
You may also have extra extreme signs corresponding to not with the ability to transfer your eyes or eyelids effectively, not with the ability to fully shut your eyes or, in uncommon circumstances, lack of imaginative and prescient. This may have an effect on high quality of life as a result of it will probably have an effect on your potential to drive, learn and work and might influence your emotional well-being.
How does thyroid eye illness (TED) get identified?
Generally your HCP could make a analysis of TED primarily based in your signs alone. To get a analysis of thyroid eye illness, you’ll need a bodily examination, in addition to an eye fixed examination. You may also have blood drawn to test the standing of your thyroid, together with imaginative and prescient assessments and eyelid measurements.
It would take visits to a couple of HCP to get a TED analysis. It’s possible you’ll be referred to see an ophthalmologist who’s a health care provider that makes a speciality of eye and imaginative and prescient issues, particularly a thyroid eye illness specialist with superior coaching and expertise treating TED. A referral to an endocrinologist, who’s a health care provider that treats hormone points, may also be really useful that will help you handle your thyroid situation.
Generally the signs of TED corresponding to dry, pink and irritated eyes might be mistaken for allergy symptoms. Inform your HCP about all of your signs and medical historical past, so there’s not a delay in analysis.
Managing thyroid eye illness (TED) signs
Whereas TED isn’t thought-about to be curable, there are therapies that may assist handle your signs. The longer that TED stays untreated, the extra possible severe harm can happen. Remedy is usually began within the acute part, however can nonetheless assist throughout the power part.
At dwelling, you need to use cool compresses or lubricating eye drops to provide your dry or irritated eyes some aid. Sun shades can assist shield your eyes from the solar and wind. To assist with the swelling and strain close to or in your eyes, strive sleeping together with your head elevated.
Sure medicines can assist with eye swelling, corresponding to steroid medicines. There are additionally newer prescription infusions obtainable that will assist relieve signs.
In case your TED signs are extreme, your HCP may advocate you could have surgical procedure. Orbital decompression might be carried out when you’re experiencing bulging eyes. This surgical procedure helps make the attention socket larger to lower the strain in your eyes. Eyelid surgical procedure can be carried out in case your eyelids have pulled again an excessive amount of. This helps return them again to their regular place.
In case you are involved that you simply may need thyroid eye illness, speak together with your HCP. They will work with you to give you a remedy plan that can be just right for you.
This useful resource was created with assist from Horizon.
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