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The thyroid gland is one of the most important endocrine glands in the human body. It contributes to regulating heart rate, body temperature, and blood pressure to keep our bodies functioning properly. As a result, a dysfunctional thyroid causes numerous symptoms. Therefore, it is particularly important to be aware of how thyroid abnormalities affect the visual system.

Thyroid malfunction can result in Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disorder that causes the thyroid to enlarge over time and create hormone imbalances. These imbalances could cause the immune system to target the tissues surrounding the eyes, creating inflammation around and behind the eyes, leading to thyroid eye disease (TED). TED is categorized into two phases: active and inactive. The active phase is when symptoms are noticeable and can last from 6 months up to 2 years. During the active phase, people can face a myriad of symptoms, including dry, watery, and red eyes, which may be treated with eye drops or ointment. TED can also cause more severe symptoms such as bulging eyes, double vision, difficulty closing the eyes, and even blindness if left untreated. In most cases of TED, surgery is not required. However, more severe TED may require surgery or medication. With severe redness, swelling and other inflammatory signs, medication such as Tepezza may be needed. Occasionally with significant bulging of the eyes or eyelids, eye movement restriction, or severe swelling causing vision loss, urgent surgery may be required.

An individual suspected of having thyroid eye disease should undergo an eye examination. If they are found to have the disease, they should be treated by a doctor with training in its management, such as an ophthalmologist, neuro-ophthalmologist, or oculoplastic surgeon. If you suspect you have TED, come in today to be examined by our expert oculoplastic surgeons, who are specially trained to find the best course of treatment for you.

For more information check out the references below:

Thyroid Eye Disease. (n.d.). Retrieved July 10, 2022, from

Graves' Eye Disease. (n.d.). Retrieved July 10, 2022, from

Thyroid Eye Disease. (n.d.). Retrieved July 10, 2022, from,swelling%2C%20and%20tissue%20changes%20

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