If you have Graves’ disease and eye symptoms, it could be Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)
Up to 50% of people with Graves’ disease will develop a different condition called TED that requires different treatment
TED is a potentially vision-threatening condition that can get worse over time. It is recommended to get treatment for TED as early as possible to prevent serious damage.
Could it be Thyroid Eye Disease?
Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) is an autoimmune disorder. That means your immune system mistakenly attacks the muscle and fat tissue behind your eyes. This causes inflammation (redness and swelling) and scar tissue to form.
Thyroid Eye Disease vs. Graves’ disease
Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) and Graves' disease are both autoimmune disorders. While TED often develops in people who have Graves' disease, they are different conditions. That's why they require different doctors and different treatments. Graves' disease affects the thyroid. TED affects the muscle and fat behind the eyes.
What are the symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease?
Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) can cause many changes to your eyes. Some of the signs and symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease include:
Dry, gritty eyes
Eye pain and eye pressure
Swollen, puffy eyelids
Can you have Thyroid Eye Disease without bulging eyes?
Yes. While bulging eyes are a common symptom of TED, not all patients with TED experience bulging eyes.
TED affects everyone differently. Some patients may have one symptom while others may have more. Symptoms of Thyroid Eye Disease
Information about these two conditions can be confusing, so it is important to assess your risk for developing TED.
Early TED treatment can help prevent serious eye damage. The longer TED goes untreated, the more likely it is for serious damage to happen to your eyes. The earlier you start treatment for your TED, the better.
Doctors specializing in Thyroid Eye Disease
Unlike other eye doctors, TED Eye Specialists have the experience to provide you with the care you need. TED is a rare eye condition. That’s why you shouldn’t visit just any eye doctor, also called an ophthalmologist. You should see a TED Eye Specialist.
While there are about 20,000 ophthalmologists in the US, most are not considered TED Eye Specialists. Many TED Eye Specialists have advanced training.
Endocrinologists don’t usually treat TED
Endocrinologists specialize in glands and their hormones, like the thyroid and important hormones your thyroid makes––not the eyes. It can be confusing because TED is THYROID Eye Disease, but treatment for a thyroid condition won’t work for TED, and treatment for TED won’t work for a thyroid condition.
So it’s important that you see a TED Eye Specialist for TED, and an endocrinologist for any thyroid conditions.