What Is Thyroid Eye Disease?

ad sick young asian woman with sore throat at home At Longwood Eye and LASIK Center, our ophthalmologists can diagnose and treat a range of eye conditions and diseases that can impact eye health and function. This includes thyroid eye disease or TED. Our providers offer an evaluation appointment during which you can obtain a proper diagnosis of your condition and seek treatment to alleviate or eliminate the symptoms that bother you. Continue reading to learn more about thyroid eye diseases and approaches for treatment with our team.

What Is Thyroid Eye Disease?

Thyroid eye disease (TED) is a rare autoimmune disorder that affects the eyes and surrounding tissues of some people with an overactive thyroid gland—specifically, Graves’ disease. It occurs when your body produces antibodies that attack the muscles and fatty tissue around your eyes. This causes inflammation.

What Are Some of the Symptoms of Ted?

The inflammation that can occur in the area around the eyes can lead to certain symptoms such as:

  • Bulging eyes
  • Redness
  • Dryness
  • Discomfort, pain, or eye pressure
  • Double vision
  • Eyelid recession
  • Puffy eyelids
  • Dry eyes
  • Light sensitivity
  • Vision loss/blindness (though the risk is low)

What Are the More Common Treatments Available for Patients With Thyroid Eye Disease?

There are treatments available for TED that reduce symptoms and prevent further damage or discomfort to the eyes. These include:

  • Eye drops and medications. Steroids, such as prednisone, are often prescribed to reduce inflammation. Immunosuppressants may also be prescribed. Your doctor at Longwood Eye and LASIK Center might also recommend eye drops to help manage dry eyes or relieve itchiness associated with TED.
  • Surgery. Surgery can address many of the issues associated with TED, such as double vision or bulging eyes. Depending on the severity of the condition, one or more types of surgery might be recommended by your doctor to reduce symptoms and improve function.
  • Radiation therapy. Orbital radiation therapy has been used to treat TED in some cases. It is most commonly used for severe cases that do not respond well to other forms of treatment.

Schedule an Initial Evaluation With Our Team To Learn More!

If you think you may have thyroid eye disease, it is critical that you visit an ophthalmologist as soon as possible for a proper diagnosis and to discuss treatment options. Our team at Longwood Eye and LASIK Center are here to help. Call 1-800-676-5050 to request an appointment at any of our four office locations in the communities of Fitchburg, Springfield, Gardner, and Greenfield, MA.


For Urgent/Problem Appointments, please call the office and do not submit an online form request

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