TED Is Separate and Distinct From Graves ’ Disease, and Requires Different Treatment

TED is a heterogeneous condition, meaning symptoms may vary from patient to patient.

Some symptoms of TED, such as eye redness, excessive tearing, grittiness and foreign body sensation, and photophobia/light sensitivity, could be misdiagnosed as Dry Eye Disease (DED). DED results from an insufficient lubrication to the eye’s aqueous tear film layer due to insufficient tear production or evaporation loss. DED is commonly addressed with treatments such as artificial tears or gels; however, more severe cases may result in surgery.

Given the similarity in presentation, it is important for all eye care specialists to be aware of TED and to evaluate patients, especially those who may have preexisting thyroid conditions, for both. Here are some additional questions that can help determine if your patient needs to see a TED Specialist for a baseline eye exam:

  • Do you have or have you recently developed any new thyroid conditions?
  • Do you have or have you experienced any pain behind your eye?
  • Do your eyes have restriction of movement?
  • Have you experienced any blurry vision?
  • Have you experienced double vision?
  • Do you often think about your eyes?
  • Do your eyes look, work, or feel differently than they used to?
  • How has the appearance of your eyes changed (if TED is already suspected)?

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