Any tips to help sore eyes/TED?

Have Graves Disease, sort of under control with carbimazole but I had a relapse a couple of weeks ago. I had minor eye problems until then, but since my relapse my eyes are soooo sore all the time, very watery and achey. I put an ice pack on them the other day for about 20 minutes which felt nice at the time, but when I removed it I was almost completely blind for about 20 minutes which was just a tad scary.

Any tips on how to make my eyes feel better please? I'm seeing my endo on Friday and will ask for a referral to an ophthalmologist but I don't expect that to happen quickly or that endo will be particularly helpful so any help would be appreciated, thank you.

14 Replies

  • Hi Tibs,

    I. have Graves too and quite often get sore eyes, they used to feel like I had been socked in the face or like they were being sucked into my head - horrible, I get the odd spells of double vision too, mostly if I read too much when I am on the bus or train.

    I use eye drops for dry eyes, I like to go for drops with no additives / preservatives, my favourite at the moment are Hyco-San, I got my last lot from a Boots / D&A optician locally but I'm sure other opticians will have them, I also like Liquifilm Tears. I don't like the gunky stuff that leaves you feeling like you are looking through a layer if grease.

    I also put them in really frequently - well to begin with then I tend to drop off the frequency with which I put them in. I keep a bottle by the bed and out them in before I go to sleep and me times if I waken up in the night.

    I also like to use a hot compress, face cloth rinsed out, and lie with that on my eyes for a little while, ot 20 minutes, that might just have been too much! I think warmth is better than cold, you can buy a thing - Eye bag?- from optician's shops that you can put in the microwave but the facecloth is ok. I used to steam my face a lot because I had loads of sinus infections that I figured were the cause of the eye pain ( turned out it was Graves!) and that was good too - I bought a very cheap, basic facial sauna from Argos, saved a lot of messing about with boiling water.

    I get my husband to turn the air conditioning off if possible - well I grumble and moan until he does - especially if we are going for long distances in the car, same with the hot air if it is cold. Being in direct line of them really irritates my eyes.

    Think that's about it for tips. I know you can ask to be checked out by the eye department for TED if it is really bad though so see how you go if those measures don't work.

    Good luck, liz :-)

  • Thank you Liz, that's really helpful. Should I use drops even if my eyes aren't dry? They water constantly when outside, which makes them really red and people keep asking if I've been crying so I wouldn't want to make it worse, but I guess they may soothe the soreness?

    I'll definitely try the hot face cloth tonight though, thanks, it's driving me mad not being able to see the computer/TV properly and any relief at the moment would be a blessing. x

  • Dry eye equals watery eyes! Visco tears are good there more like a gel & don't run out like drops do. Also have TED but hypothyroid now, my eyes have always been dry/ sore & odd! Appearence wise better now I'm taking Levo/T3 x

  • Thank you, i didn't realise dry eyes watered, I'll definitely get some drops now, thanks. I'm glad your eyes look better with the levo/T3, I hope they keep improving x

  • If your eyes are sore due to hyper levels then they will simply calm down as your hormone levels even out. However if it's actually TED you will need specific treatment until the active phase is over, often with immunosuppressive drugs. Get checked out by an ophthalmologist asap :-)

  • Thank you for this. My endo said I had lid lag in the past so I've never been sure if that meant I had the beginning of TED, but I'll make sure he refers me on Friday. I have concentrated entirely on researching/managing/understanding my thyroid (I self medicate due to the doctors getting my dosage wrong) and know almost nothing about TED as I never had eye problems like this before now. Thanks :)

  • I think lid lag is / can be an indicator of TED I don't have lid lag or I didn't when the guy did the follow-my-finger test, sometimes my eyes feel quite stiff though. So lucky you have an appointment coming up so soon. I quite liked this site that gives lots of good information on TED - they recommend hypermellose eye drops which I don't like but apart from that ....

    Liz :-)

  • My eyes used to water a lot before my thyroid was treated, not so much now, I've always thought it was odd how dry eyes could water but they seem to do that, think it might be a different sort of tears but I don't know for sure. Won't do any harm to use the drops though, it will make them more comfortable.

    Like TTLady says if it is actually TED as opposed to dry eyes you need to get checked out and treated properly because that is very serious - definitely put it on your list of things to ask about on Friday in the meantime try the other things they might help and won't do any harm.

    Liz :-)

  • Always something to learn! I didn't realise dry eyes watered, hell a year ago I didn't know the meaning of anxiety or what a thyroid did, lol, It was the thing I dreaded most as I'm squeamish about eyes and really struggle to put drops in, but I'll definitely do that, and will talk to endo about it tomorrow for sure, hopefully it is just nothing. Thank you Liz :)

  • I know it is odd but mine do. Same here about thyroids - a year ago I was chuntering along quite happily, then it seems one minute you're ok next you're not.

    You can buy a little plastic case thing to put your bottle of drops in - Amazon sell them, think it is called an eye drop dispenser, I found it recently for a friend whose elderly brother got smacked in the eye with a shuttlecock and couldn't manage to put his drops in.

    Good luck tomorrow. :-)

  • The British Thyroid Foundation has some info on the use of selenium supplements for those with mild thyroid eye disease. This is the link;

    The link to the research paper referred to is;

    The selenium used was given as sodium selenite in a dose of 100 mcg twice daily for a six month period - Maddie

  • Thanks so much for all the help and advice, it's so useful. I saw endo today, he said I have slight lid lag and my eyes look sore, but that it's definitely not TED and isn't anything to worry about. So I'll use some drops and the other tips to help with the soreness, but thyroid is almost within normal range again so hopefully it will subside again soon. :)

  • Wow, that's good news and good to be almost within normal range again too. Keep putting the drops in regularly/ frequently throughout the day rather than sticking to three times a day like you would with normal medicine. Yu cant overdo it. Nice to keep them in the fridge too.

    Liz :-)

  • Hi, Sorry I don't mean to rain on your parade, but why does the endo say it's definitely not TED?!? He should refer you to an ophthalmologist and that specialist will know what's going on. TED and hyperthyroidism run their separate course. Please get a referral!

    I was diagnosed with Graves last year and suffered from TED only for about three months. I'm SO glad it's over, as it drove me nuts. I couldn't work (I work at the computer all day) and had pain almost constantly. Fortunately, by the time I saw the ophthalmologist I was already much better and he said the worst was probably over. He recommended selenium (as suggested above), but I already knew that :-)

    All the best!! I hope you'll feel better soon!

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