Thyroid Eye Disease or Graves Eye Disease

Graves' eye disease is also known as the thyroid eye disease, and an auto-immune condition in which the immune cells attack the thyroid gland which responds by secreting an excess amount of thyroid hormone. As the result, the thyroid gland enlarges and the excess hormones increase metabolism. The hyper-metabolic state is characterized by fast pulse heartbeat, profuse sweating, irritability, high blood pressure, fatigue, weight loss, palpitations, heat intolerance, and loss of hair and alterations in hair quality. When the immune system attacks the tissues around the eyes, it causes the eye muscles or fatty to expand. The eyes are the particularly vulnerable to Graves' eye disease, because of the autoimmune attack often targets the eye muscles and the connective tissue within eye socket. This likely occurs because of these tissues contain proteins that appear similar to the immune system as those of the thyroid gland.

In Graves’ eye disease the tissue around the eye is attacked, and the result is inflammation and swelling, causing:

  • Redness and pain
  • Puffiness around the eyes
  • Bulging of the eyes
  • Dry eye and irritation, occurring when the eyelids cannot close completely over bulging eyes

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