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Thyroid Eye Disease

One of the most common thyroid diseases is hyperthyroidism, in which there is an overproduction of thyroid hormones. People with hyperthyroidism may experience some degree of eye difficulty. Eye problems are most commonly caused by abnormal swelling of the soft tissues surrounding the eyes, and enlargement of the muscles that move the eyes and open the eyelids.

As a result, the eyes may protrude forward, there may be retraction of the upper eyelids which forces the lids apart, there is an inability to fully close the eyelids, and an abnormally large amount of the front of the eyes is exposed. This results in wide prominent eyes, a fixed staring expression, and infrequent blinking of the eyelids.

Eye problems secondary to thyroid disease are often treated by ophthalmic plastic and reconstructive surgeons who specialize in diseases and conditions affecting the eyelids, the lacrimal (tear) system, the orbit (bone cavity around the eye), and adjacent facial structures. For additional information, speak with your physician.


American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery