Thyroid Symptoms: Thyroid Eye Disease: What Is It And What Are The Symptoms?


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The thyroid is a butterfly gland located in the middle of the lower part of the neck. Even though it is a small organ, it has many essential roles to play in our body. This gland produces three types of hormones that help control growth, cell repair, and metabolism in our body. Any imbalance in hormone production leads to fatigue, hair loss, weight gain, excessive cold, and many other symptoms, together called thyroid disease.

In severe cases, thyroid disease also leads to eye complications, where the immune system begins to attack the muscles and other tissues around the eye. This can lead to inflammation of the eyeballs, bulging eye sockets and, in rare cases, loss of vision. This condition is called thyroid eye disease or thyroid-associated orbitopathy.

What leads to eye disease of the thyroid?
Thyroid eye disease is an autoimmune eye disease that is common in people with thyroid disease. This type of eye infection is also seen in people with Graves disease.

A thyroid-related eye complication occurs when our immune system, which protects us from germs and other pollutants, confuses the body tissues in and around the eyes as a foreign invader. Soon after, the immune system sends out antibodies that attack the fat and tissue in and around the eye. Experts still don’t know what makes the immune system react to it and they are still trying to find the reason behind it. However, not all people with thyroid disease have this disease.

Symptoms of eye disease of the thyroid
In this condition, your eyes may appear bulging and your eyes may appear swollen. If the condition is severe, you may not even be able to completely close your eye. Some other symptoms can include:

Redness in the whites of your eyes

Irritation, like there’s dirt in your eyes

Pain and pressure

Dry or watery eyes

Double vision

Light sensitivity

Diagnosis and treatment
If you have thyroid disease, have your eyes checked regularly to rule out eye problems. If you start to feel pain or an eye problem, see your eye doctor. Your health care provider may look for swelling or enlarged eye tissue. Depending on your condition, your doctor will prescribe your medicine. In case of slight damage, you will be prescribed lubricating eye drops and artificial tears. You will be asked to take certain precautions, such as protecting your eyes from dust and bright light. Only a small percentage of people with this condition need to have surgery.

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