People with thyroid disease are susceptible to developing “thyroid eye disease,” also known as Graves’ disease. The reason for this condition is because the same autoimmune attack that causes thyroid disease can also target the eye muscles and connective tissue within the eye socket.
While it is important to keep your thyroid disease under control, doing so won’t necessarily prevent Graves’ disease because having one condition does not directly cause the other.
Since they are linked, you should be familiar with the signs and symptoms of thyroid eye disease so that you can properly address them if they become evident.
Symptoms of Graves’ Disease
- Itchy eyes
- Watery eyes
- Dry eyes
- A gritty feeling in the eyes
- Swelling (puffiness) around the eyelids or the front of the eye
- A deep headache
- One or more retracted eyelid
- Eye bulging or prominent eyes (like when one stares) caused by swelling of the muscles
- Not being able to completely close your eyes
- Redness and pain
- Double vision caused by stiffness of the eye’s muscles
- Reduced visibility due to a damaged optical nerve. This can lead to blindness.
The Phases of Thyroid Eye Disease
There are two phases to this disease: an active phase and a stable phase. During the first phase you have noticeable inflammation, which usually lasts anywhere from six months to two years. During this phase you’ll likely be give medications or treatments to relieve symptoms. In the stable phase, the initial symptoms have subsided, but you now have to deal with the more visible effects of the disease, meaning possible surgery.
If you have problems with any of the above mentioned symptoms, then call the office of Dr. Kami Parsa in Beverly Hills. Book a consultation to find out how we can help.
Posted on Behalf of Kami Parsa, M.D.