Impact of Graves Disease on eyes

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I have been diagnosed with Graves Disease and have many of the classic symptoms. I had thyrotoxicosis in May and was really unwell, which is when they found I had hyperthyroid and Graves. Prior to that I had been having issues with my eyes being very dry and gritty and at times being very painful and had been referred to the hospital. The eye consultant tried punctal plugs to stop my eyes from draining and diagnosed dry eye. He prescribed eye drops and ointment for nights but my eyes have continued to be uncomfortable, particularly when stressed.

When I had the thyrotoxicosis my eyes became worse and I found it hard to open my eyes as they were so sensitive. This has settled as my thyroid levels have come down - I am now on block and replace therapy.

I went to see the eye consultant today for my regular check up for dry eyes and asked if there was a link with Graves but he completely dismissed this. He said that I would know if it was Graves as my eyes would bulge within a matter of two days and I would have double vision, which would also come on in two days with no warning. He said to go back when/ if my eyes become bright red and start to bulge. I thought it sensible to see whether there could be a link as all websites that mention symptoms of Graves talk about dry and gritty eyes but he kept saying it was just a coincidence and wasn't interested. Interestingly, the endocrinologist has prescribed Selenium daily for my eyes and Lacri-Lube for my eyes every night to minimise risk and treat the symptoms so she thinks there is a link.

I might be making links that are not there and maybe it is just a coincidence. I would be interested to know if anyone has issues with their eyes with Graves and how they are been treated for this by the consultant. 

Many thanks,


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  • Posted


    That must be some kind of link between dry eyes and graves disease. For about eight months before I was diagnosed with graves disease my eyes would water continuously Mostly in the morning and cold weather… I was told that the First set of tear ducks was clogged and the second set takes over because in your eyes to water on my eye doctor… As for the graves disease I was lucky that I caught it early and got on medication just weight-loss diarrhea for two months before hand extreme weakness and irritability… Good luck check

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  • Posted

    I have had dry eyes but no bulging and I have Graves.  They definitely go together but some don't have as severe eye disease as do others, depending on how far over normal their lab results are.  I recently read about causes of dry eyes and different, more natural treatments.  I am going to review that article again.

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  • Posted

    There most Definately is a link  between having Graves Disease and having dry eyes .... you are correct to question it so doggedly .

    My eyes were awful ..  before my GD diagnosis , watery , dry , itchy and very gritty ,  eyelids stuck together in the mornings with a sugary type discharge.

    However , after attending the doctor for it one day .. he gave me mild antibiotic drops which helped enormously .. that and 

    Artificial tears lubricant gel 

    Helped  greatly.

    After taking Carbimazole to get my levels normal .. my eye problem sorted itself ... and although I still get   Dry eyes from time to time ..   it has more or less rectified completely.

    I just try to take care of them as they’re precious , by lubrucating them often 

    I recently had  surgery though and was given very strong painkillers .. which had a very severe effect on .... ..... My eyes !

    They became extremely dry, in fact I could barely open them as they felt like they were stuck to my inner eyelids 

    Apparently it’s a  common side effect ... 

    Anyway , after consulting with a specialist she gave me a great tip

    Buy yourself  the loveliest  soft cloth for the face , maybe soft  bamboo or linen .

    And ... whenever you have the time  during day or night .....

    fill the wash bowl with 

    ( Nearly  wink hot water  and immerse the cloth , put your face close to the bowl and press the wet hot cloth to the eyes  asserting  some pressure against closed eyes ..

    If you Do this several times ...  im sure you will be pleased with the results

    It encourages the natural tears to film over the eyes properly and stimulates normal function .

    Follow that with some gentle application of  liquid tear gel 

    It’s very soothing and makes the eyes feel bright again  ... they feel like they’ve hade a workout and massage  ... ha 

    Tell us if you try it and it works as it may help others too.

    Best of luck 


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    • Posted

      Hi Madge this is samy... How r u lovely just read ur reply here how u feeling u saying u got surgery done ? Hope u feeling OK Bunny..

      Wanted to share it with u now they have found a noudle on my thyroid and its keep coming up thyroiditis through the ultrasound I don't understand what it is new endo s doing all the test for both antibodies see how it goes lots of hugs and luv...samy

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    • Posted

      Hi Samy ...🙋???

       long time no see ... 

      but that hopefully is a good thing 

      Yes had big surgery recently 

      But I’m now very good indeed thank you 🌸

      I’m sorry you’re  getting the  run around Luvvie .. but at least you know they’re investigating your issues.

      So you have a  nodule  that seems to be causing irritation or maybe inflammation  to your thyroid gland ..

      I don’t have  nodules thank God .. but it certainly would explain  your symptoms of late .. and I’d think it would seem very like Thyroiditis.

      I also don’t know how they are treated after diagnosis  either

      But I’ve heard they can  ‘zap ‘ 

      Them ... I’ll see if I can find out more about that ...and come back to you .

      I take it they’re now testing Antibodies for Graves or

      Hashis  then   ?

      ......Are you being good and eating a good Mediterranean  type diet  and keeping your supplementing going still !

      Nice to hear from you Samy 🦋

      Luv M x🌹

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    • Posted

      Samy ... Laser Ablation is a treatment now I believe .. Remember Jaye  ... she was very interested in that .    Maybe she’ll let you know if I try to send her a message , to ask how she got on with her research .

      Let’s know what they say about your Antibodies Samy 

      Lots of luv 


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    • Posted

      Good to hear u feeling better I'm OK with diet supplements on and off bcs levels were really good but I take vitamin d everyday b12 in between but haven't stopped them completely ..yes new endo checking both antibodies TRAB...and TP0 ...she thinks it could be hashi or I am in one of those who has antibodies for both ...u always help me u r a star I try to look at jaye s post just waiting for a reply from the endo abt the blood results will let u know what she says but that pain in my thyroid and ear is still there I'm hoping and prayi g that they do something look after urself take care ...

      .lots of hugs and prayers for u ...samy

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  • Posted

    Hi clare61301, the paragraph below is taken from the leaflet 'Thyroid Eye Disease' of the Corneo-Plastic Unit at the Queen Victoria Hospital. I have forwarded you the link via private message.  

    "Most patients with TED experience only mild symptoms, such as dryness or irritation of the eye, and others with the mildest form of TED may be unaware of any eye problems at all. 

    In those with significant inflammatory changes, the following symptoms may occur: 

    uncomfortable eyes, 

    watery eyes  red eyes, 

    puffy upper or lower eyelids,

    a deep 'boring' constant ache of the eye socket, 

    a ‘staring’ appearance due to retraction of the upper eyelid, 

    a bulging eye (proptosis), or both  double vision, ‘ghosting’ of images, or pain on eye movements, 

    reduced colour perception (red colours appearing ‘greyish’),  

    blurring of vision,  

    visual loss."

    Even though your ophthalmologist was being dismissive, the good news is that he did not detect any signs of bulging eyes or lid retraction. If you have a look at the leaflet you will find that you are receiving optimal care including Selenium supplementation. 

    The only additional thing that I would recommend is warm compresses to the outer upper corners of your eyes. The compresses can stimulate tear production and may help unclog tear glands. I find them especially beneficial in the morning. 


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