10 Ways to Improve Your Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)

Published: 08th October 2008
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Thyroid eye disease is an inflammatory condition which affects the orbital contents including the extraocular muscles and orbital fat. It is almost always associated with Graves' disease (GD) but may rarely be seen in Hashimoto's thyroiditis, primary hypothyroidism, or thyroid cancer. The ocular manifestations of TED include soft tissue inflammation, eyelid retraction, proptosis, corneal exposure, and optic nerve compression. The signs and symptoms of the disease are characteristic. These include lid retraction, lid lag, and a delay in the downward excursion of the upper eyelid in down gaze that is specific to TED.

Thyroid eye disease affects approximately 1 million people in USA and Canada and 250,000 people in the UK. Although blindness is a dreaded complication, fortunately only a small minority of patients require surgery or other medical treatment to protect their vision. The majority of patients with thyroid eye disease however appear to suffer silently trying to come to terms with the facial disfigurement that is caused by the disease. It is particularly unkind, distorting the most expressive, vivid and ageless feature of the face, the eyes. Many patients with thyroid eye disease are unable to face the world, they don't want to look at the mirror any more and avoid social contacts as much as they can. Relationships break down, jobs are lost, depression sets in and life changes for the worse. These people are really desperate, they lost a hope that will ever get better and the consequences in their everyday life are severe.

The choices now-a-days, available for treating Thyroid Eye Disease and it's symptoms like bulging eyes, double vision, and protruded eyes can be summarized as follows:.

1. Cold compress on your eyes

2. Elevating head to relieve swelling

3. Flax seed oil

4. Lubrication eye drops (avoid the one that are treating red eyes)

5. Lubrication ointments

6. Exercises to strengthen the eye muscles

7. Humidifiers in your room

8. Wear good sunglasses that are really protecting your eyes

9. Corrective surgery to loosen the eyelids

10. Decompression surgery

11. Steroids and prisms (to correct double vision)

I believe that once your symptoms are under control and your test are in normal range your eyes will start to improve. So besides treating the symptoms I would recommend treating the cause of Graves' Disease illness as well.

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