Thyroid UK
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Eye problem, probably not thyroid related?

Hi all

This probably has nothing to do with thyroid but I thought I'd ask as like many of you I am really reluctant to go to my GP with anything now.

My eyeballs started hurting, just at the top under the lid on Thursday and I noticed it was painful to remove my eye makeup. My eyelids felt heavy and felt a bit better when I shut them but the eye ball ached. Not sharp pain but a dull ache when I moved them.

This continued with no other symptoms until I woke up this morning and my left eyelid is quite swollen and the eyeball slightly red but not much. It looked as though I was about to cry as my eye is brimming with what I thought was water, but when I tried to wipe it, it is a clear gel. Sorry quite disgusting really. They are not gritty, but its the same ache on the eyeball and the lids are not swollen just a bit puffy. I don't normally suffer from hayfever or anything but if anyone has had anything similar, I would be grateful as I am not going to my gp.

I've not had any problem with my eyes until now.

Many thanks

4 Replies

Someone with thyroid eye disease will comment.

I would go to your doctor anyway and ask to be referred to an Endocrinologist to be checked out. email and ask for a copy of NHS Endos/private doctors.


It sounds like it may be an infection, in which case you will need some drops. You could try a pharmacist. There are certain preparations you can buy over the counter. They may also be able to advise you as to what it is.

The other alternative is to see an optician. They will likely know what it is and what needs to be done to treat it but it may mean that you have to go to your GP :(

Of course it could be something else but hopefully a pharmacist or optician will be able to advise you. Please do see a doctor if that's what is advised to you. I know you don't want to but you don't want to start ignoring eye problems. As Shaws says, it could also be thyroid eye disease.

Whatever it is, I hope it clears up soon.

Carolyn x


Good advice already given in the previous posts.

I had TED which was diagnosed by my very good optometrist. The endo department was useless and missed the glaringly obvious signs and actually gave me RAI while the TED was very active - thus making it much worse. The optometrist made an immediate referral to the eye hospital because I also had signs of acute glaucoma. It all turned out to be thyroid related and improved with optimal thyroid meds.

So - you can try:

1. checking if it is just an infection which will go away with the right treatment - you will then know because TED does not resolve with eye drops

2. Consult a good optometrist - phone round first and ask if they have experience of thyroid eye disease

3. Check your B12 levels - some people with B12 deficiency have eye problems and this often goes hand in hand with thyroid and the symptoms overlap as this person describes:

Hope this helps and you are felling better soon.



Thanks for the replies. I do have B12 def. but have been taking that for nearly four months now and my levels are rising. I will try the pharmacist first for eye drops and go from there. Thanks again.


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