Dry Blurry Eyes And Hypothyroidism
- Thyroid function and eye health
- Common eye symptoms in thyroid dysfunction
- Managing eye health with hypothyroidism
Eye problems are not commonly associated with hypothyroidism, an underactive thyroid. However, if you have Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, you may be at higher risk for eye disease. Hashimoto’s thyroiditis is an autoimmune condition that damages the thyroid gland. According to the American Thyroid Association, six-percent of people with Hashimoto’s have eye disease related to their thyroid functioning.
Eye conditions related to the thyroid are more common with Graves’ disease, an autoimmune condition causing hyperthyroidism than they are with Hashimoto’s. Indeed, one of the hallmark symptoms of Graves’ disease is bulging eyes. While thyroid-associated eye disease may get overlooked in people with Hashimoto’s, studies find that both hyper- and hypothyroid autoimmune processes can cause uncomfortable eye symptoms.
Dry Mouth And Eyes When Waking Up
If you have dry eyes and dry mouth when you wake up in the morning, the culprit can be environmental. Check your sleeping area for drafts, fans, and other irritants that could be drying out your airways and eyes overnight. You may also wake up with dry eyes or mouth if you have allergies, take certain medications, or sleep with your mouth open.
Tips For Managing Dry Mouth
In addition to doctor-recommended treatment that you need to follow in order to manage xerostomia, there are many other things you can do.
Like many other conditions and problems affecting our body, dry mouth also requires certain changes in our lifestyle. To overcome dry mouth and complications it could cause you may want to try the following:
- Drink plenty of water the reality is that we dont drink enough water although its vital for our health and wellbeing. Ideally, you should drink sips of water throughout the day. Make sure you drink between eight to 12 glasses of water every day, but if you tend to forget to drink water regularly you can always set up a reminder on your phone or write it down on post-it note
- Suck on hard candy or chew gum this isnt an excuse to eat sweet and sugar-laden candies or chew gums you loved in childhood. Opt for sugar-free alternatives of hard candies and gums as theyll help promote salivary flow without negatively affecting your teeth
- Limit alcohol, consumption of coffee and acidic juices all these beverages could contribute to the drying effect and make the problem worse. Thats why its better to avoid them entirely or reduce their intake. Read product labels to avoid consuming products with hidden alcohol
- Moisturize your lips get a good lip balm to soothe cracked lips, a common problem associated with dry mouth
- Avoid products such as over-the-counter antihistamines and decongestants they worsen dry mouth
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How Does Thyroid Eye Disease Affect Mental Health
TED can cause eye pain, double vision, loss of vision, and changes to your appearance which may impact your quality of life. The impacts of TED can lead you to experience to depression, anxiety, loss of independence, and reduced self-confidence. You may have a decreased desire to socialize with others, have trouble with productivity at school or work, and stop doing activities you once enjoyed.
To help support your mental health as you deal with TED:
- Talk to your doctor: Talk to your doctor about any changes to your emotional well-being. Ask questions on how TED will affect your daily life and work.
- Seek support: Seek out support groups of others who are going through TED. The Graves Disease and Thyroid Foundation offers support groups for people with Graves disease, thyroid eye disease, and other thyroid conditions. These groups can help you learn about your condition, share your experience, and find support.
- Connect with others: Stay connected friends and family to keep you from feeling isolated.
- Take time to enjoy life: Take part in activities or hobbies that make you happy.
- Exercise: Exercise can help symptoms of depression or anxiety and make you feel better. Talk to your health care professional to determine what exercise routine may work best for you, especially if you have changes to your vision due to TED.
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Oral Manifestations Of Hypothyroidism
Childhood hypothyroidism known as cretinisim is characterized by thick lips, large protruding tongue , malocclusion and delayed eruption of teeth. Thickening of the lips and macroglossia is due to increased accumulation of subcutaneous mucopolysaccharides i.e., glycosaminoglycans due to decrease in the degradation of these substances. The long-term effects of severe hypothyroidism on craniofacial growth and dental development have also included impaction of the mandibular second molars. This seems to be caused by a dissociation of ramus growth and failure of normal resorption of the internal aspect of the ramus, resulting in insufficient space for proper eruption of these teeth.
The common oral findings in hypothyroidism include the characteristic macroglossia, dysgeusia, delayed eruption, poor periodontal health, altered tooth morphology and delayed wound healing. Before treating a patient who has a history of thyroid disease, the dentist should obtain the correct diagnosis and etiology for the thyroid disorder, as well as past medical complications and medical therapy.
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Can Hashimotos Disease Cause Dry Mouth
Hi, I was diagnosed with Hashimotos about 8 years ago and went on levothyroxine for about 6 months. My tsh has been a little over 5 when I went on the medication. My doctor increased it slightly it and then I had an irregular heart beat and didn’t feel any better from the med so I went off of it and had blood work done regularly. I had all my thyroid levels checked and all has been in the normal range until my annual blood work last August. Tsh was elevated to 6.5. I wanted to wait 6 weeks to have all levels checked. When the labs came back everything was normal again. T4, t3, antibodies, tsh..vitamin D, etc..all normal. That was in September. I go back to see my doctor next week for a follow up. So that’s the background. Here’s my question When it got extremely cold outside in January I continued walking and hiking and noticed my lips got very dry and chapped. I assumed it was from the cold weather. I kept something on them around the clock. They are still dry but not chapped. Then the inside of my mouth felt drier than normal. I have saliva but still feels kinda dryalso my throat. Can Hashimotos cause this? I have read that it can cause these symptoms. I will be talking to my doctor about it. Just wondering if others have had this symptom. Also, I’ve had dry eyes for a few years but blamed that on menopause but guess it could be from Hashimotos also.
Does Thyroid Disease Cause Xerostomia
As seen above, xerostomia can occur due to a number of reasons. If you have dry mouth quite frequently, it’s useful to schedule an appointment to see the doctor because, in most cases, it’s a result of some underlying health problem.
But, is thyroid disease one of those underlying health conditions that contribute to xerostomia?
et al. carried out a study whose main objective was to estimate the prevalence of thyroid diseases in subjects with xerostomia. They discovered that more than half of patients with xerostomia also had thyroid disease.
More precisely, 53.2% of people with xerostomia also had thyroid disease, but 38% had thyroid disease alone.
Of patients with thyroid disease, 30.4% had Hashimotos thyroiditis, 10.1% had subacute thyroiditis, 2.5% had subclinical hypothyroidism, and 1.3% had Graves disease.
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Treatments For Eye Symptoms
If your eyes are dry and sore, lubricating eye drops can be used to keep your eyes moist and reduce any friction. You can buy these yourself from chemists.
You might need to speak to your doctor or another healthcare professional and try a few different types of eye drops, before finding one that is right for you.
For very dry eyes, you may need to use ointment, gel or sprays as well as eye drops. Your doctor might give you eye drops containing ciclosporin or steroids if your eyes are inflamed.
Mucolytic eye drops can be given by your doctor if mucus has caused your eyes to become sticky. Paraffin-based ointments can be used at night to help stop your eyes being dry and crusty when you wake up in the morning.
If you need to use eye drops more than three times a day, its a good idea to use a brand that is preservative-free, as regularly using eye drops that contain preservatives can increase dryness and sensitivity. If you have corneal ulcers or infections, its important to speak to an eye specialist before using any products.
In some cases, an eye specialist may suggest punctal occlusion. This is where tiny plugs are inserted into the ducts at the inner corners of the eyelids. These are known as the puncta. This reduces the ducts ability to drain tears or eye drops from the surface of the eye.
Dealing With Thinning Hair And Hair Loss
Hair loss from hypothyroidism is usually not a big problem, Dr. Pearce says. It should stop with thyroid treatment, although this could take several months.
Pearce adds that hypothyroidism might not be the culprit when it comes to hair loss or thinning there could be an unrelated genetic cause. Or the problem might be certain medications, stress, iron loss, or simply aging.
Hypothyroidism treatment wont help hair thats thinning for other reasons. But if thyroid issues are to blame, try these solutions:
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Sex Fertility And Pregnancy
The condition doesnt affect fertility in men or women. However, there may be a higher risk of miscarriage in women who have anti-Ro or anti-La antibodies. Your doctor might suggest low-dose aspirin in the early stages of pregnancy to reduce this risk.
There arent usually any problems during or after pregnancy, and you may be able to carry on with some treatments, such as hydroxychloroquine, during pregnancy.
However, a very small number of women may pass anti-Ro or anti-La antibodies on to their baby during pregnancy. The baby could then develop symptoms, such as rashes and abnormal blood tests after birth.
These will clear up once the mothers antibodies have been lost from the babys blood. This can take anything from a couple of weeks to a few months.
In some cases, the antibodies affect the babys heart, causing it to beat slowly. If you have these antibodies, you should tell your obstetrician, as your babys heartbeat will need additional monitoring in the womb.
Managing Eye Health With Hypothyroidism
Blurry vision and dry eyes can be the result of several conditions unrelated to your thyroid. Although under-active thyroid may play a role in eye symptoms, it is necessary to rule out other causes because appropriate treatment for dry eyes and blurry vision relies on knowing the root cause. Consider having a complete eye exam by an ophthalmologist to help rule out any possible causes related to the eye itself.
Test your vision
Your visual acuity can change as you age. If you are struggling with blurry vision, visit your eye doctor to assess for changes in your vision.
Treat your thyroid
Optimizing your thyroid function is essential for your overall health and wellbeing. Meet with your endocrinologist if you struggle with blurry vision or dry eyes. Checking your thyroid function is critical in determining the appropriate medication and dose for you. Reclaiming control of your thyroid with the right medication may help relieve irritating eye symptoms.
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Filling In Patchy Sparse Eyebrow Hair
Another physical change related to hypothyroidism involves the eyebrows both overall thinning and losing all the hair in the outer third of the brows.
Makeup can help here: Use a brow pencil in a shade that matches your natural hair color to fill out and extend your brow line, drawing individual hairs with the pencils sharp point.
Most beauty stores sell eyebrow kits containing a variety of products and tools that can create a natural look.
Complications And Consequences Of Dry Mouth
Aside from the obvious, effects of dry mouth can include:
- Impaired ability to chew and swallow food
- Diminished enjoyment of food
- Chapped, splitting, or cracking lips
- Cavities, gum disease
- Oral infections, mouth sores
While everyone gets a dry mouth now and then, when it lasts for several weeks, it may be a symptom of thyroid disease or another underlying health problem. If you notice that you have had a persistent sensation of dry mouth, you should talk to your doctor.
How Is Thyroid Eye Disease Treated / Managed
Thyroid eye disease in its active phase can last between one and three years. That means if it is left untreated, the inflammation may gradually decrease by itself but may cause damage to vision through the course of the disease. Sometimes, the changes caused by the enlargement of the tissues may not go away. The goal of treatment is to limit inflammation and swelling occurring during the active or inflammatory phase and to protect the front of the eye and prevent vision loss.
Thyroid eye disease is managed by a specialist eye doctor . Any underlying thyroid problems will be managed by your primary care doctor or by a specialist in the hormone systems of the body .
If a thyroid issue is suspected, evaluation and treatment are critical. The first priority is to restore your normal thyroid function. In addition, eye conditions should be examined and treated at the same time as your thyroid gland treatment. Eye problems may continue to progress even after your thyroid function returns to normal.
If you have thyroid eye disease, your eye doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments to help soothe your eyes and improve your vision:
Cool compresses: Apply cool compresses to your eyes. The extra moisture and cooling effect may provide relief.
Sunglasses: When you have thyroid eye disease, your eyes are more sensitive to sunlight and UV rays. Wearing sunglasses helps protect them from both sun and wind.
How Do Thyroid Disorders Cause Dry Mouth
Among the many effects of thyroid disease is a diminished production and release of saliva from the salivary glands, which results in a dry mouth.2 Thyroid patients who spit, for example, may not experience full replenishment of their saliva even hours later. This is believed to be related to slowed metabolism associated with a hypothyroid disease. Untreated or partially treated hyperthyroidism can cause dry mouth as well, though the reason is not clear. While dry mouth is usually associated with hypothyroidism, research studies show that it can also occur with a variety of thyroid conditions, including those that cause hyperthyroidism.
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The Eye Specialist Role
Your specialist can provide simple solutions to the irritation, tearing and swelling often associated with TED. Often, this involves something as simple as using artificial tears during the day and lubrication ointment at night. Your specialist can determine when your eyes have stopped changing and whether corrective surgery is needed. Your specialist may also watch for the rare serious problems associated with TED that need prompt treatment.
Dry Eyes And Mouth At Night
If you suffer from dry eyes and mouth at night, you will first want to check your sleeping area for drafts and irritants. Mouth breathing, allergies, and even certain medications can cause dryness. You may also have dry eyes if you wear contacts during the day or if you spend a lot of time in front of computer screens.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Thyroid Eye Disease
If you have Graves disease, eye symptoms most often begin within six months of disease diagnosis. Very rarely, eye problems may develop long after the Graves disease has been treated. In some patients with eye symptoms, hyperthyroidism never develops and, rarely, patients may have hypothyroidism. The severity of the eye symptoms is not related to the severity of the hyperthyroidism.
Symptoms of thyroid eye disease are caused by the tissues, fat, and muscles of the eye socket swelling and pushing the eyeball forward. It may be possible that symptoms may appear in one eye more than the other. The symptoms of thyroid eye disease include:
Dry, gritty and irritated eyes
Bulging eyes and lid retraction giving a staring or startled appearance
In more advanced thyroid eye disease, there may also be:
- Trouble moving eyes and closing eyes
- Inability to completely close your eye causing a corneal ulcer
- Colors appear to be dull or not as bright
- Blurred or loss of vision due to optic nerve compression or corneal damage
How Is Dry Mouth Treated
You should see the healthcare provider who will recommend the best treatment option.
Generally speaking, the treatment of dry mouth depends on various factors, including the underlying disease. Managing the underlying condition can help improve salivary flow.
Therefore, if thyroid diseases are to blame for your xerostomia, then improving the function of the thyroid gland could also help improve salivary flow and tackle dryness in your mouth.
In cases when dry mouth is caused by specific medications, the doctor either alter the dosage or prescribes different drugs.
Another treatment method for dry mouth is to stimulate the production of saliva. Basically, the doctor prescribes medications that promote salivary flow. As seen above in the article, stimulating production of saliva can be beneficial for patients with Hashimotos thyroiditis.
Due to the fact that dry mouth can lead to tooth decay and other problems in the oral cavity, your doctor will recommend adequate treatment measures to protect your teeth. For example, in order to protect cavities, the dentist may fit you for fluoride trays. You need to fill these trays with fluoride and wear over the teeth at night.
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