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Thyroid Eye Disease: What Is It And How Does It Affect Your Vision?

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If your eye doctor diagnoses you with thyroid eye disease, you may have many questions about what the disease is and how it affects your vision and life. Your concerns may increase if you don't have a previous history of thyroid disease or vision problems in your family. Thyroid eye disease can occur when you have problems with your thyroid, or the disease may develop when your immune system weakens. Understanding what the disease is and how you cope with it can help you overcome the symptoms thyroid eye disease produces. Here's what you need to know about thyroid eye disease and your treatment options for it.

How Does Your Thyroid Affect Your Eyes?

The thyroid gland is one of the most critical tissues in the body because it affects many of its functions, including the cells that control the muscles and tissues of the eyes. If your immune system attacks the cells of the thyroid, the thyroid can make the right amount of hormones. One of the problems you develop because of the attack is thyroid eye disease.

Thyroid eye disease often occurs over time. If you don't see your eye doctor as recommended, you may not even know that you have the disease, even if you develop symptoms. The symptoms of eye disease may include blurry vision, watery or dry eyes and swollen eyelids. Because a number of common ailments, such as hay fever and cold viruses, produce similar symptoms, you may not consider the possibility that you have an eye disease. 

Once your eye doctor diagnoses you with thyroid eye disease, you and your doctor can treat and manage your vision properly.

What Are Your Treatment Options?

The first thing your eye doctor may do is refer you to your primary physician to treat your thyroid. Your primary doctor will test your thyroid to see if it makes too many chemicals or not enough before prescribing any treatment plan. Bringing your thyroid under control is critical to the success of your vision treatment.

After you receive the proper care from your primary doctor, your eye doctor will treat your eye disease based on its symptoms. For example, if you suffer from dry eyes, the eye doctor may prescribe wet drops to control it. Wet drops stimulate the tear ducts in your eyes to make additional fluids. 

You may undergo therapy to strengthen the muscles around your eyes and forehead. Thyroid eye disease can make the upper eyelids pull up and back into the sockets of the eyes. You may develop a "startled" look as a result. In any case, your eye doctor will sit down with you and discuss your treatment options before making any decision about your care.

For more information about your eye disease, contact a business such as Coastal Eye Care.