Vision Issues Associated With Hyperthyroidism
Graves’ disease is a leading cause of hyperthyroidism in America as it affects 1 out of every 200 people. In individuals diagnosed with Graves’ Disease, 30% of people may also have thyroid eye disease known as Graves’ Ophthalmology. Mild cases can clear up while treating hyperthyroidism. However, others may lead to severe problems, like vision loss.
Symptoms of Graves Ophthalmopathy include:
- Eyes that feel gritty or dry
Consulting with an ophthalmologist can help diagnose these symptoms as Graves’ Ophthalmopathy or find some other underlying vision problem for which they can help create a treatment plan. Some courses of treatment include eye drops, steroids, or even surgery, depending on the severity of the symptoms. Having the proper treatment plan in place will ensure you address your vision problems with the intensity they need and help prevent the symptoms from worsening and causing long-term damage.
At Home Thyroid Blood Test
Sooth and treat dry eyes with artificial tears. Eye drops work by merely providing moisture to your eyes. You can find drops in preservative and non-preservative forms, and both tend to work well. You may want to avoid eye drops that also claim to reduce redness, as these drops can constrict blood vessels in your eyes and cause further irritation.
Ointments can also relieve dry eye, although they may blur your vision. Therefore, it is best to use these at night.
Your ophthalmologist may prescribe oral medication or eye drops that primarily target inflammation. Swelling around the eyes prevents your tear ducts from releasing moisture into your eye. Some prescriptive medications may include antibiotics that also have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Your ophthalmologist may recommend you install small clear tubes of medication between your lower eyelid and eye. These dissolvable daily inserts resemble a tiny grain of rice that releases medication to moisten the eye throughout the day.
Natural and alternative remedies
A warm, wet compress can do wonders for your eyes. Similarly, massaging your eyes gently can help stimulate your tear ducts. Some people find castor oil drops to be beneficial in relieving dry eye. As with adding any natural remedy, consult your ophthalmologist. Acupuncture may relieve dry eyes by reducing inflammation around the eye, and thus relieving eye irritation.
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The thyroid is a small butterfly-shaped gland located at the base of your neck. This endocrine gland is responsible for regulating your bodys energy use. It works with other glands and systems of the body to help determine what the body needs. For example, if you are cold or hot, this gland creates hormones that travel to the bodys cells to help regulate your body temperature. When you have issues with your thyroid, whether it is overactive or underactive , it can affect your body in different ways. As the thyroid gland regulates cellular metabolism in all the cells of your body, virtually every body system is affected when there is an issue with thyroid function.
Find inspiration for a healthy way to support your thyroid
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Thyroid Disease And Glaucoma
Thyroid disease can be a cause of secondary glaucoma. Thyroid over or under activity can be associated with problems in and around the eyes. When it occurs, it is known as thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy.
Thyroid over or under activity can be associated with problems in and around the eyes. When it occurs, it is known as thyroid-associated ophthalmopathy. The socket in which the eyes are located can be affected by inflammation fluid and white blood cells can collect in the tissues behind and alongside the eyes causing swelling. This swelling pushes the eyes forwards so that they bulge, the blood vessels around the eyes open wide making them look red and angry and the eyelids pull back. All this makes it very hard to close the eyes properly. The front windows of the eyes cant be protected adequately and roughness or even ulcers can form. These can become infected, and may heal leaving scars.
Such pressures can lead to damage to the optic nerve fibres in precisely the same way as in any other glaucoma. This type of glaucoma is known as secondary, because we can identify a cause for the eye pressure elevation.
In extreme situations, glaucoma drainage surgery may be needed. This carries more risks than usual, and particular steps are taken by the surgeon to minimise complications and to maximise the chances of successful pressure control.
Problems Associated With Thyroid Eye Disease
Dry irritated eyes
TED may cause you to experience dry, irritated and often teary eyes. This is usually due to the eyelids retracting and or protruding. When the eyelids do not close completely at night, the cornea dries out and becomes quite uncomfortable. The use of lubricating ointment for the eye at night and artificial tears during the day can provide a great deal of relief. Do not be afraid to use the tears frequently, as much as every 1/2 to 1 hour if necessary.
TED can cause swelling, irritation and scarring of the muscles that move the eyes. This can lead to double vision. Double vision may not be present all the time, sometimes it is noticeable only when looking in certain directions, while in other patients it is always present. Often the amount of double vision will change week to week. At times it can disappear completely without treatment. Once the double vision has been stable for at least several months, surgery can be performed to correct it if necessary. Your specialist will refer you to a specialist for the surgery.
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Put Into The Lens Box When Not In Use
When taking off glasses, many people will easily hang them on the head, collar, or casual display, so that glasses often suffer a variety of damage. To do this, fold the glasses and place them face up in the case. Do not place your glasses in direct sunlight or in high temperatures, as heat can easily peel off the film on the lens. For example, in summer, the glasses are exposed to direct sunlight in the car for a long time, which is easy to cause lens stripping.
Treating High Cholesterol And Thyroid Disease
The good news is, treating thyroid disease may improve your cholesterol levels. Doctors treat hypothyroidism with thyroid replacement hormone medications. Thereâs no cure for hypothyroidism. Thatâs why improving your cholesterol levels doesnât improve your thyroid hormone levels. Experts recommend that adults whoâve been diagnosed with high cholesterol levels get tested for an underactive thyroid.
If youâre being treated for an underactive thyroid, your doctor will monitor your cholesterol levels. Some people with hypothyroidism may not lower their cholesterol levels enough with thyroid replacement hormones. If that happens to you, your doctor may recommend you take other measures, such as eating healthier, exercising regularly, and taking a cholesterol-lowering medication.
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When To See A Doctor
See your doctor if you have swelling around your eyes that doesnt go away after 24 to 48 hours.
A mild eye infection can go away on its own. Its important to have it checked in case its more serious. An infection can cause complications in your eye if left untreated.
Get immediate medical attention if you have symptoms of an eye infection or other health condition. These include:
What Is Thyroid Eye Disease And What Causes It
The various eye issues due to the thyroid can be collectively diagnosed as thyroid eye disease. The cause of thyroid eye disease is similar to the thyroid, which is an underlying autoimmune disorder or hormonal imbalance.
When our body’s immune system attacks the tissue surrounding the eyes, it can lead to thyroid eye disease. This also leads to further issues like dry or watery eyes and vision problems like blurry or double vision.
Thyroid eye disease is mostly seen in people with an overactive or underactive thyroid. It is at times independent of thyroid disease. This means that thyroid eye disease can sometimes be also seen in people with no thyroid dysfunction. In such cases, the eye disorder may be caused due to some other autoimmune disease.
Not all people with thyroid disorder will encounter eye issues due to thyroid, but if you do, you must consult an ophthalmologist to avoid further complications.
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Can Synthroid Thyroid Medication Cause Eye Problems
Eye problems are common in hyperthyroidism, a condition where your body has too much thyroid hormone. People can get Gravesâ ophthalmopathy, also known as thyroid eye disease when the condition is unaddressed. But eye problems are not just restricted to people with hyperthyroidism. People with hypothyroidism can also experience eye issues. Eye issues associated with hypothyroidism may even be a side effect of common thyroid medications used to treat an underactive thyroid. Hereâs what you should know if you struggle with eye problems and are treating your hypothyroidism with Synthroid.
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Dry Eye Or Excessive Tearing
Inflammation can also lead to a range of eye issues, including dry eye, which can feel as if theyre constantly gritty. Artificial tears can help restore lubrication, says Kossler. Paradoxically, dryness can also cause watery eyes, because the body ramps up tear production to combat the irritation, according to the Mayo Clinic.
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What Causes Thyroid Eye Disease
TED is usually associated with systemic hyperthyroidism or Graves disease. This disease is caused by what is described as an autoimmune process. Autoimmune disease may be understood as a process by which the body sees some part of itself as being foreign and reacts to it much the same way that it would to any bacteria or virus.
In the case of Graves disease, the body sees the thyroid gland as the foreign object and produces antibodies that attack the thyroid gland. This often causes the thyroid gland to become over active.
The eye version of this disease is called Thyroid Eye Disease. However, in the case of TED, different antibodies attack the muscles associated with eye and eyelid movement. Although the thyroid gland and the eye may be under attack by the same immune system, it is felt that both conditions remain mostly independent of one another. The antibodies that attack the eye can cause inflammation and swelling of the fat and muscles around the eye, which is what can eventually cause bulging of the eyes, double vision and retraction of the eyelids.
Will my eyes go back to normal after treatment?
Allergies And Thyroid Conditions
Allergies that produce nasal or sinus congestion will also increase puffiness around the eyes. Congestion can cause blood to pool in the capillaries underneath the eyes, leading to puffiness and dark circles called allergic shiners. To prevent swelling and puffiness in the eye area, you can try to stay away from allergens as much as possible.
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Signs And Symptoms Of Graves Eye Disease
In Graves eye disease the tissue around the eye is attacked, and the result is inflammation and swelling, causing:
- Redness and pain
- Dry eye and irritation, occurring when the eyelids cannot close completely over bulging eyes
Progressive swelling may cause:
- Increased pressure inside the eye socket
- Pressure-pain or deep headache, which worsens with eye movements
The muscles around the eye are particularly susceptible to the attack of lymphocytes. As they tighten and lose their ability to stretch, these symptoms can occur:
- The eye is pushed forward in its socket causing a staring appearance
- Restriction of the eyes normal movements, resulting in double vision
As symptoms build, many patients fear they will lose their vision. Fortunately, patients almost never go blind from Graves eye disease.
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Can Synthroid Affect Your Vision
Synthroid is one of the most common medications used to treat hypothyroidism. Also known by its generic name levothyroxine, Synthroid contains synthetic thyroid hormone that helps to replace low thyroid hormone in your body.
Like most medications, Synthroid comes with a list of side effects. One of the rarer side effects of Synthroid is that it may cause blurred or double vision and eye pain. These symptoms may stem from swelling caused by taking too much thyroid hormone or an adverse reaction to the medication, like an allergic reaction.
There are very few reports that Synthroid directly causes eye problems, except in rare cases where it is an adverse reaction. If you struggle with eye issues while taking Synthroid, it is more likely related to your thyroid not being correctly managed or other causative factors like allergies, etc.
Can You Suffer From Eye Issues Due To Thyroid
We are all well aware of thyroid disorders and their effects on our bodies, but how many of you are aware of the impact they may have on our eyes? Yes, that’s right! Thyroid disorders may result in several eye and vision problems.
Not many of you must be aware of how common eye issues due to thyroid are. Those suffering from thyroid disorder may have experienced eye problems, but sometimes eye issues occur as the first symptom of thyroid disorder.
Eye issues due to thyroid may cause various vision-related problems like blurry or double vision. They also cause irritation to your eyes, dry eyes, watery eyes, red eyes, staring or bulgy eyes and can lead to difficulty in closing your eyes. These problems are collectively called thyroid eye disease.
As eye problems are common in people with thyroid disorders, it helps to have a brief knowledge about them.
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Treatment Can Start At Home
Treatments for eye bags include at-home remedies, such as cold compresses, tea bags on the eyes, and chilled cucumber slices placed over the eyes . Additionally, over-the-counter hemorrhoid creams can be used as a remedy for eye bags, as they contain phenylephrine, which can narrow blood vessels and bring swelling down. However, great caution should be applied when using this treatment, as these creams can cause irritation.
In addition, you can try to get enough sleep, and sleep with your head raised slightly to keep fluid from pooling beneath your eyes at night . In more severe cases, a surgical procedure called blepharoplasty may be necessary. In a blepharoplasty, a surgeon will reposition the fat under the eyes and, if necessary, remove excess skin. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, there are risks associated with this procedure, including eyelid problems, skin discoloration, and temporary blurring of vision. Before taking any measures to manage eye bags, discuss your condition with your doctor or ophthalmologist to determine whats best for you and your eyes.
How Can The Thyroid Gland Affect The Eyes
Thyroid disorders, either with elevated hormone level or a depressed hormone level , can affect the eyes. Statistically an under active thyroid gland is more common, which may contribute to increase tired, worn-out appearance and wrinkles.
For some thyroid patients, especially with hyperthyroidism, under eye bags are increased. In advanced cases, the eyes may appear to bulge out of their head.
Most plastic surgeons performing eyelid surgery will evaluate for thyroid condition, in conjunction with the patients primary physician, prior to any facial cosmetic surgery. It is very difficult to determine, however, how much of ones appearance is specifically due to thyroid condition vs. normal aging vs. genetics, or other factors.
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Are There Any Complications From Thyroid Eye Disease
Most people do not develop permanent complications. However, where treatment is delayed or where the thyroid eye disease has been severe, there can be lasting effects. They are also more likely in older people, in those who smoke and in people with diabetes. Possible complications include:
Complications from the disease
- Damage to the clear window of the eye .
- Permanent squint or double vision .
- Damage to the nerve of the eye, resulting in poor vision or colour appreciation.
- Altered appearance .
Complications from treatment
- Side-effects from the immunosuppressive medicines.
- Side-effects from the surgery:
- New double vision .
- Loss of vision .
- There are some other very rare complications that your surgeon will talk you through.