How Graves’ Disease Affects Your Eye And What Are Its After Effects?

Graves’ disease is one of the disorders which can affect your immune system negatively. In this, the immune system damages thyroid in one’s body and hence causes hyperthyroidism.

Hyperthyroidism is the case when your thyroid is overactive. As the name suggests, in this the whole body is flooded with high levels of thyroid hormones which can result in various symptoms including rapid heart rate or tachycardia, tremors in the hands, weight loss, muscle weakness, and insomnia.

What Causes Thyroid Eye Disease?

Out of the above symptoms of the grave’s disease, one that is the most apparent in about half of the people is a few eye symptoms. These people are most likely to be diagnosed with Thyroid Eye Disease. These are mostly mild and can be treated very easily.

Graves' Disease Affects Your Eye

Thyroid Eye Disease or Grave’s Disease Signs

When it comes to eye symptoms, they usually appear within six months before or after one is diagnosed with Graves’ disease. Such symptoms can affect your eye in the following ways:

  • Redness

One can suffer from redness in their eyes. There are high chances that one can notice the whites of the eyes as well as the eyelids to appear red and inflamed. Such a symptom is one of the earliest symptoms when it comes to the graves’ eye disease.

  • Proptosis

This is one of the serious symptoms of graves’ eye disease. In this one’s eyes bulge outward. This one also happens at an earlier stage. During proptosis, a person’s eyelids may also retract, which may lead to an inevitable dryness and discomfort.

  • Eye Irritation Or Pain

When one has graves’ eye disease, there is a chance for their eyes to feel gritty and dry. They may even get excessively teary and they might feel utmost irritation in their eyes. This causes pain as well as extreme sensitivity to bright light or photophobia. One may have an uncomfortable feeling of pressure as well in your eyes.

  • Vision problems

Of course, when one’s eyes are concerned as part of a disease, there are supposed to be some vision problems. Double vision or diplopia also comes off as one of the early symptoms of Graves’ disease. In case of the disease advances, a person may later experience symptoms like having trouble moving their eyes, vision loss, and being incapable of completely closing their eyes.

The Many Causes of Thyroid Eye Disease

As we talk about thyroid eye disease, we also have to include how it can make your body’s immune system cause inflammation within the tissues which are around your eye. This causes redness, swelling, along with numerous other symptoms that we have described above.

The attack of your immune system on your eye also contributes towards triggering the production of extra muscle as well as fat in the socket of your eye. This is the extra tissue that makes your eyes bulge out, a symptom that we discussed earlier.

The disease brings with it some of the common symptoms like swelling of the eyelids. This can result in puffy and red eyes. This swelling may cause your eyelids to retract. As a result, your eyes are left more exposed and more vulnerable to developing dryness and worse, infection. If you suffer from severe dryness or infection, there is a fair chance that it can lead to a corneal ulcer. It is an open sore which is on the cornea that can contribute to vision loss in a person.

There have also been cases where swelling has stiffened the muscles that move your eye. This hurdles their proper functioning. Studies have shown that 5% of people who have Graves’ eye disease have experienced eye swelling so severe that it has the capability to put pressure on your optic nerves which connect your eyes right to your brain. This may also be a cause of vision loss.

There have even been people who had Graves’ disease and smoked cigarettes, which led them to fall victim to showing more eye symptoms. It is also found that their symptoms were more severe than those of the people who did not smoke.

Now you know how Graves’ eye disease can actually affect your eyes. But do not worry. Where there is a disease, there are a few remedies or treatments as well. One can employ treatments at home like using eye drops and cold compresses.

For severe cases, one can make use of some expert-recommended medications as well as surgeries. You obviously have to go to a doctor for these. But it is a good idea to pay your doctor a visit when using home remedies as well.

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