Are you following a diet chart but still gaining weight? Do you religiously follow an eight-hour deep sleep routine yet you feel like you have been breaking rocks the entire night? You stretch your legs as you ace that virtual presentation sitting in your office chair but feel like you just came down from a trek in the Himalayas? Winter, summer, monsoon, spring – no matter the season your palms and feet remain as cold as an icicle? If your answer to any or all of the questions was yes, then it’s time to take a closer look at your thyroid health. It’s only then when the activities of our butterfly-shaped gland start impairing our vision that we take a hard look at our health. In case, you are already experiencing dry, watery, red eyes, bulging eyes, a “star” double vision, or difficulty closing the eyes because of puffy eyelids; then it may be wise to get checked for Thyroid Eye Disease. It’s not something to ignore.
What Are The Symptoms Of Thyroid Eye Disease?
In a discussion with Dr Tulika, Ophthalmic, Occuloplasty, and Orbital Surgeon, over Common Vision Issues In Women she talked about the autoimmune diseases that risk women’s eye health. This mainly includes the repercussions caused by abnormal thyroid levels. She further explained, “Most of the patients aren’t even aware of thyroid-related eye diseases. Hyperthyroid or hypothyroidism—both cause bulging of eyes, dryness, retraction of lids, improper closure of lids—and all of this sometimes lead to a starry vision.” It’s easy to confuse its symptoms with other commonly occurring eye issues and allergies. We suggest a visit to our eye doctor if you experience any of these signs.
A constant feeling of grittiness in the eyes
Excessive dryness or watery eyes
Growing intolerance to bright lights
Swelling or puffiness in the upper or lower eyelids
Redness of the lids and eyes
Blurred or double vision
Pain in or behind the eye, especially when looking up, down or sideways
Difficulty moving the eyes
Is Thyroid Eye Disease Inherited?
Not really. Autoimmune conditions indeed tend to run in families but Thyroid Eye Disease is not inherited. However, a patient with Thyroid Eye Disease may likely have some other autoimmune disease.
How Common Is Thyroid Eye Disease?
It’s common, so much so, that one in every four patients with thyroid problems have this condition.
Thyroid Eye Disease is almost five times more common in women than men. Where 90 percent of patients with this condition have an overactive gland, in which case it may be diagnosed before, after, or at the time of diagnosis of Graves’ disease. While five percent of people have an underactive gland. And five percent of people with Thyroid Eye Disease may not have any thyroid problems at all. It’s also important to note that this condition is seven times more likely to occur in smokers.
How Is It Treated?
As much as it’s crucial to keep the thyroid function stable, Dr Tulika insists on regular eye check-ups as well as thyroid monitoring. She advises, “Patients should love their eyes. Eat a fresh and healthy diet rich in vitamins and omega-3 fatty acids. Thyroid Eye Disease patients need to follow up with their ophthalmologist to avoid major repercussions.”