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Thyroid eye disease is a condition caused by a disorder of the body’s immune system. Individuals with this condition usually have inflammation of the eyes and this results in swelling of the muscles and tissue around the eyes. The swelling can be so severe that it affects the part of the skull where the eyes are (the orbit) and pushes the eyeballs forward, affecting one’s ability to see very well. Loss of eyesight can also occur from thyroid eye disease, but it is very rare.

 Causes of Thyroid Eye Disease

Ideally, our immune system protects us from infections and things that can cause sickness and diseases. But, for a person with thyroid eye disease, the immune system regards its tissues as an intruder. This then makes the person’s body produce antibodies to attack the mistaken tissues on the face, especially around the eyes, resulting in the swellings that accompany the disease.

Risk factors of the disease

This medical condition is common among people that naturally have excess thyroid hormone in their body system (most especially underactive thyroid). Those with normal thyroid levels rarely have the disease.


People with the condition will experience symptoms such as difficulty in opening and closing the eyes, redness, dirt-like feeling, eye pain, pressure on the eyeballs and orbit, dry eyes, watery eyes, double vision and sensitivity to light; all of which can last from 6 months to 2 years.

 Treatment and eye care

 Treatment of this condition largely depends on how severe the condition is. This will determine the method (medication or surgery) that your eye doctor will recommend. He/she will most likely work with other medical personnel like your physician and mental health doctor to help you decide the best treatment for you.

People with high thyroid levels should have a regular eye checkup schedule with their eye care provider, as well as report any case of unusual swelling, pain and discomfort of the eyes. This will help to detect the early onset of the disease. Contact us today for more eye health information.