Thyroid eye disease is an autoimmune disease that affects 16 out of every 100,000 American females and 2.9 out of every 100,000 American males annually. It can cause bulging eyes, swelling, and double vision.
Most people with TED have an overactive thyroid gland in their neck. The gland produces too much hormone. This causes extra fluid in the body to collect around the eyeballs and face.
As this extra fluid builds up behind the eyeball, it pushes on delicate tissues within the orbit. This causes the eyes to bulge outwards, pushing your eyelids away from your cornea or even covering part or all of it.
There are prescription medications that can treat thyroid eye disease, but you may also be able to prevent it by taking steps to reduce stress or treat it with surgery if your symptoms do not improve. The effective ways to ease TED includes the following:
Use Prescription Eye Medications
If you suffer from this condition and don’t find luck with conventional treatments, you may want to consider prescription eye medications for relief. However, it’s essential that before you take such medication, you research it well, as some medications can cause mild to severe side effects.
Let’s take Tepezza, for example. Many people use Tepezza to treat TED. But it’s been alleged to cause hearing loss and other auditory problems. This observation is backed by research.
Stanford University revealed the outcomes of their Tepezza medicine study at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting. According to the findings, 65% of thyroid eye disease patients who used Tepezza suffered hearing problems after taking the drug.
In fact, the medicine is so harmful that the manufacturer was slapped with a lawsuit by the victims. The Tepezza lawsuit warns all thyroid eye disease sufferers and any patient in general: do not to take any medicines without first researching them thoroughly.
Clean Your Eyelids
Eye infections are a common complication of thyroid eye disease. Hence, keeping your eyelids clean is essential. Clean your eyelids gently with a soft cloth soaked in warm water. Make sure to remove mucus or pus from your eyelid margins. The frequency you clean your eyelids will determine how unclean they become. So you may have to clean them once or more daily.
Cold and Warm Compresses
Cold and warm compresses help relieve the pain and swelling that TED causes. Begin by washing your face with mild soap. Then pat it dry with a soft towel and start the cold and warm compress treatment.
Soak a washcloth in ice water and wring out the excess liquid for a cold compress. Then place the washcloth over your eyes for 10 minutes at a time. Then switch to a hot compress.
For a hot compress, fill a container with about 2 cups of warm water, about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Then drape it over your eyes for a maximum of 10 minutes. Repeat this process until your eyes are no more swollen.
Did you know about 93 million Americans are prone to severe vision loss? Unfortunately, over half of them don’t realize they have a problem. TED might contribute to vision loss. It’s essential to make healthy choices.
Start with eating a healthy diet. Green leafy vegetables are high-fiber foods. These high-fiber foods lower the risk of eye diseases, including TED. Besides green leafy vegetables, consume fruits, nuts, dairy products, and foods rich in omega 3 and vitamins to nourish the eyes. Avoid junk food and aerated drinks as their high sugar and saturated fat may mess with your eyes more.
Next up, exercise your eyes to ease the symptoms of TED. Try eye-strengthening exercises. Close your eyes and push the tip of your index finger on one of your eyelids for 10 seconds., then release. Repeat with the other eye. Open your eyes wide for 30 seconds and then close them for another 30 seconds; repeat three times.
Also, make it a habit to meditate daily. Meditation can help you decompress and maintain. It also lowers stress significantly, which is a significant cause of TED.
Lastly, restrict blue light exposure to prevent eye strain and dry eyes. Avoid using blue light emitting devices like laptops and mobiles at night or in dimly lit environments. If you use them, consider downloading apps that filter out blue light.
If you have poor vision or have been diagnosed with thyroid eye disease, it is essential to wear protective eyewear to shield your eyes from the sun. If possible, ensure that these items are clean and disinfected, so they don’t cause an infection in your eye or any other part of your body.
Surgery is not recommended for all patients. It’s only a last resort and should be pursued when experiencing extreme discomfort or worsening vision. Surgery can treat the symptoms of thyroid eye disease.
There are many types of TED surgery. The doctor will suggest one depending on to what extent TED has caused harm to you. A subset of surgeries removes excess tissue from your eyelids and orbit. Other procedures target specific muscles in this area damaged by TED.
It will take weeks to months to recover from surgery fully. This period allows your body time to heal properly. It prevents post-operative complications like infection or bleeding inside the eye socket, which could cause permanent damage if left untreated.
We hope these ideas have given you some inspiration on how to ease thyroid eye disease. If your problem is worsening, it’s essential to keep an open mind about treatment options and follow your doctor’s instructions.
You can help yourself by being proactive about your health, which includes regular checkups and screenings and a healthy diet and exercise routine.
And if nothing else works, consider consulting with an ophthalmologist specializing in treating thyroid eye disease. They’ll give personalized care than the general practitioner might be able to.