Graves' Eye Disease FAQ | oneGRAVESvoice

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Patient Education

Graves’ Eye Disease FAQ

key information

source: American Thyroid Association (ATA)

year: N/A

summary/abstract:

What is the Thyroid Gland?
The thyroid gland located in the neck produces thyroid hormones which help the body use energy, stay warm and keep the brain, heart, muscles, and other organs working normally.

What Causes Graves’ Eye Disease?
Graves’ ophthalmopathy is a problem that usually develops in people with an overactive thyroid caused by Graves’ disease. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune condition caused by antibodies directed against the thyroid, and also against the surface of the cells behind the eyes. Up to one half of people with Graves’ disease develop eye symptoms.

What are the Symptoms of Graves’ Eye Disease?
Symptoms include feeling of grittiness in the eyes, redness or inflammation, excessive tearing or dry eyes, and swelling of the eyelids. In more advanced disease, there may be forward displacement or bulging of the eyes (called proptosis), decreased movement of the eye, and rarely, loss of vision.