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What are the Symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease?

Thyroid eye disease, abbreviated as TED implies an eye condition, where eye muscles and its fatty tissues become inflamed. This leads to pushing forward of the eyes i.e. bulging or staring eyes or causes redness as well as swelling of both eyelids and eyes. In some of the cases, muscles responsible for eyes movement suffer stiffness and swelling to prevent eyes to stay in line with one another. This creates another problem called double vision. In rare cases, thyroid eye disease results in blindness from pressure on nerves present at the back portion or formation of ulcers at the front part of the eyes.

Thyroid eye disease is a type of autoimmune disease and it takes place whenever the immune system of one’s body attacks back areas of the eye and causes inflammation. It has close relationship with over-active thyroid because of Graves’ disease even though it takes place sometimes in people with normally functioning or under-active thyroid. Graves’ disease is a common cause associated with over-active thyroid, also called hyperthyroidism.

What are the Symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease?

What are the Symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease?

Thyroid eye disease comes with a few common symptoms. Hence, it is your prime responsibility to schedule an appointment with your doctor in case you identify any problem among the following-

  • Change in appearance of your eyes i.e., bulging or staring eyes
  • Grittiness feeling in your eyes
  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Dislike towards bright lights
  • Feeling of fullness or swelling in a particular one or both of your upper eyelids
  • Redness of eyes and eyelids
  • Bags below your eyes
  • Difficulty in movement of your eyes
  • Pain inside or behind your eye, particularly, when you look down, up or sideways.

In case you suffer from puffy skin and eyelids across or below your eyes, while you deal with a severely underactive form of thyroid, you may not suffer from thyroid eye disease. Instead, you have to take levothyroxine to undergo with adequate treatment and improve your symptoms effectively.

Symptoms to Differentiate TEDs from Other Related Diseases

Most of the times, doctors often face difficult to diagnose patients suffering from Thyroid Eye Disease and they provide treatment for allergy, conjunctivitis or hay fever for many months before making the actual diagnosis. Hence, it is essential for everyone to stay aware with important clues to go with easy diagnosis of thyroid eye disease.

These are:

  • Occurrence of symptoms in off-season in case of hay fever
  • Allergies usually result in itchy eyes, while Thyroid Eye Disease do not
  • Conjunctivitis leads to sticky eyes, which you may not find in case of Thyroid Eye Disease
  • Thyroid eye disease often involves pain or ache inside or behind the eyes, particularly when a person tries to look upward or sideways, while other conditions do not involve such problems/symptoms
  • Thyroid Eye Disease sometimes has relationship with double vision, while others do not.

What Should Patients Do when Symptoms Become Worse/Severe?

Symptoms associated with Thyroid Eye Disease sometimes become severe or worse. In this situation, an individual experiences double vision, ulceration in the colored part of human eye, interference with vision and compression of optical nerve responsible for carrying messages to the human brain, all of which lead to vision loss.

In case you diagnose with the mentioned complications and opt to undergo treatment early, you will expect to achieve success from thyroid eye disease. In case you develop any among the aforementioned symptoms, you have to consult your doctor without any delay and ask for immediate reference of an eye specialist with vast experience in the treatment of thyroid eye disease.

  • Worsening of symptoms for a period of many days or weeks
  • Blurred vision, which is not improving by covering or blinking your eyes turn by turn
  • Awareness that colors are not appearing as bright, as they appear as usual
  • Double vision while looking downwards or forwards.

Also Read:

Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:February 1, 2022

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