Thyroid Eye Disease Symptoms & Signs

Recognize the top 10 symptoms and signs of Active TED, including bulging eyes

Active Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) can affect you in many ways, like how you look, see, and feel. Some changes may happen slowly, while other changes may develop quickly. Active TED affects everyone differently.

It’s important to remember that any change—no matter how big or small—needs to be taken seriously. The sooner you let your doctor know, the sooner he/she can make a difference in your care. Medicines have only been shown to help signs and symptoms during Active TED.

Below are the Top 10 signs and symptoms of Active TED to look out for.

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Use the A.C.T.I.V.E. Symptom Tracker to help track symptoms and share them with your doctor

10 symptoms and signs of Active Thyroid Eye Disease

Eyelid retraction is a Thyroid Eye Disease symptom Eyelid retraction is a Thyroid Eye Disease symptom Eyelid retraction is a Thyroid Eye Disease symptom

Eyelid retraction

What you may notice:

Your eyelid may be pulled back so that more of your eye is showing than normal. You may also find it hard to close your eyes all the way.

Puffy eyes and thyroid problems is a sign of Thyroid Eye Disease Puffy eyes and thyroid problems is a sign of Thyroid Eye Disease Puffy eyes and thyroid problems is a sign of Thyroid Eye Disease

Swollen, puffy eyelids

What you may notice:

Your eyelids may look red and swollen. At first, you or your doctor may think this is because of allergies or an infection. Your doctor may refer to this change as eyelid edema (ih-dee-muh).

Bulging eyes and thyroid problems is a sign of Thyroid Eye Disease Bulging eyes and thyroid problems is a sign of Thyroid Eye Disease Bulging eyes and thyroid problems is a sign of Thyroid Eye Disease

Bulging eyes

What you may notice:

Your eyes may bulge forward. This may happen in just one eye or both eyes. Your doctor may refer to this change as proptosis (prop-toe-sis) or exophthalmos (ek-sof-thal-muhs). During an examination, your doctor may measure the amount of eye bulging using a ruler or a special instrument called an exophthalmometer (ek-sof-thuhl-mom-i-ter).

Issues with thyroid and dry eyes is a Thyroid Eye Disease symptom Issues with thyroid and dry eyes is a Thyroid Eye Disease symptom Issues with thyroid and dry eyes is a Thyroid Eye Disease symptom

Dry, gritty eyes

What you may notice:

Your eyes may feel dry or sandy. It may also feel like there is something stuck in your eye.

Issues with thyroid and red eyes suggests Thyroid Eye Disease Issues with thyroid and red eyes suggests Thyroid Eye Disease Issues with thyroid and red eyes suggests Thyroid Eye Disease

Red, swollen eyes

What you may notice:

Your eyes may look red or bloodshot. They may also look swollen. At first, these changes may be confused with allergies or an infection. Your doctor may refer to these changes as erythema (er-uh-thee-muh) or chemosis (key-moe-sis).

Watery, teary eyes may be signs of Thyroid Eye Disease Watery, teary eyes may be signs of Thyroid Eye Disease Watery, teary eyes may be signs of Thyroid Eye Disease

Watery, teary eyes

What you may notice:

Your eyes are too watery or you're tearing up too much.

Problems with thyroid and eye pain or pressure is a sign of Thyroid Eye Disease Problems with thyroid and eye pain or pressure is a sign of Thyroid Eye Disease Problems with thyroid and eye pain or pressure is a sign of Thyroid Eye Disease

Eye pain, eye pressure

What you may notice:

You may feel pain in, around, or behind your eye. You may feel pressure behind or around your eye or get headaches.

Issues with Graves' Disease and light sensitivity may indicate Thyroid Eye Disease Issues with Graves' Disease and light sensitivity may indicate Thyroid Eye Disease Issues with Graves' Disease and light sensitivity may indicate Thyroid Eye Disease

Light sensitivity

What you may notice:

Your eyes may become extra sensitive to light. Your doctor may refer to this change as photophobia (foh-tuh-foh-bee-uh).

Issues with thyroid and blurred vision is a sign of Thyroid Eye Disease Issues with thyroid and blurred vision is a sign of Thyroid Eye Disease Issues with thyroid and blurred vision is a sign of Thyroid Eye Disease

Blurry vision

What you may notice:

Images may appear blurry or out of focus.

Graves' Disease and double vision may suggest Tyroid Eye Disease issues. Graves' Disease and double vision may suggest Tyroid Eye Disease issues. Graves' Disease and double vision may suggest Tyroid Eye Disease issues.

Double vision

What you may notice:

You may see 2 images of the same object. Your doctor may refer to this change as diplopia (dih-ploh-pee-uh).


Other Thyroid Eye Disease symptoms to watch for

Misaligned eyes

Looking in the mirror, you may notice that the position of your eyes doesn’t match or they are misaligned. This can cause other changes, like double vision.

Color vision loss

You may notice colors look duller or washed out. In rare cases, you may lose all color in your vision. Losing color vision can also mean that damage is happening to your optic nerve. This only happens in about 5% of cases, but it can mean your sight is threatened. You should talk to your doctor right away if you notice color vision changes.

Vision loss

In some cases, TED can lead to blindness.

Be sure to check your eyes frequently, maybe pick a day of the week. If you spot changes, speak to your doctor right away. Medicines have only been shown to help signs and symptoms during Active TED. Be sure to download the symptom tracker.

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Have Graves’ disease and are experiencing eye symptoms? Find a TED specialist near you and request a baseline eye exam.