If you or any of your near and dear ones just diagnosed with the problem of Graves’ Ophthalmopathy, you obviously will not be sure about what exactly takes place with you next. Whenever you undergo diagnose with the problem initially, a big concern of you is the potential eyesight loss because of thyroid eye problem. Hence, with the help of this article, we will analyze why Graves’ disease results in blindness or loss of vision.
Overview of Graves’ Disease
Graves’ disease implies an autoimmune type of disease affecting the thyroid glands. This is a common form of hyperthyroidism and it even implies overactive thyroid. People suffering from this problem often experience a large numbers of effects related to hyperthyroidism, including weight loss, muscle weakness, nervousness, brittle nails and hair, tremors, sleeping disorders or difficulty in sleeping and overabundance of energy combined with excessive tiredness.
Can Graves’s Disease Make You Blind?
Graves’ Disease and Blindness in Patients:
Graves’ disease results in causing proptosis i.e. bulging eyes because of inflammation and swelling in the eye muscles and its surrounding tissues. Bulging associated with the problem of proptosis creates difficulty of eyelids to safeguard the eyes, which ultimately leading to unpleasant side effects in the form of painful, dry and irritated eyes. Particularly, patients suffering from Thyroid Eye Disease may become blind or loss their eyesight because of any two ways, as mentioned here. First, if you opt to left the problem in untreated condition, extreme dryness eventually causes drying out of the cornea leading to scarring and potential loss of your vision. Secondly, the problem may cause double vision, because of the adverse effect of eye movements.
Besides this, the patients suffering from the problem of proptosis may develop glaucoma or damage in the optical nerve. Optic nerve plays a major role to transmit images to the brain. With the passage of time, swelling and pressure across the eyes cause damages to optic nerve fibers leading to peripheral vision loss following the tunnel vision. With further progress of glaucoma, a few people may experience complete vision loss eventually.
Symptoms of Graves’ Disease Related to Vision Problems
Eye doctor determines the presence of Graves’ Ophthalmopathy based on a thyroid function test after the doctor views a few common symptoms. These include-
- Eye redness and inflammation
- Bulging eyes
- Gritty sensation or dryness in eyes
- Pain or pressure in eyes
- Sensitivity to light
- Vision loss, double vision or blur vision
Ways to Prevent Vision Loss
Firstly, it is essential for you to observe any problem associated with Graves’ disease, such as swelling and irritation in eyes within a period of only six months of your diagnosis. Only a small number or percentage of patients experience severe symptoms to cause permanent eyesight damage. Experts have further highlighted that experiencing complete vision loss because of Graves’ Ophthalmopathy problem is extremely rare among patients.
Patients suffering from the problem of Graves’ Ophthalmopathy should essentially stay vigilant about their eyesight. In case of diagnosing with hyperthyroidism, you should make sure to discuss with your doctor about your vision, as you may require a referral to any good ophthalmologist affiliated with a hospital, as the ophthalmologist possesses huge specialization to deal with vision problems. In some cases, doctors recommend for surgery and related treatments to stop the problem of Graves’ disease associated with eyes/vision and ease various discomfort resulting from its side effects.
Other than this, it is essential for everyone to follow and adopt healthy lifestyle and food habits, as they lead to improved vision and eye health. These include getting eye examinations annually, quitting various tobacco products and following a healthy diet filled with fish, leafy green veggies and reduced amount of food items containing high levels of Glycemic Index.