Thyroid UK

Pain & tenderness around edge of left eye socket/along jaw hinge and temple?

I've had this since RAI in 2012 off and on, but constantly recently. It feels tender and bruised and when I blink it feels like I've been bashed in the face. Occasionally I experience 'eyelid lag' where the eyelid will not open for some minutes after waking. This morning, for the first time, I had visual disturbance for about half an hour in the left eye, coloured prisms and triangles floating on the periphary whichever way I turned my head and happened in bright natural light, interior light and dimly lit room.

I had a local anaesthetic for dental work later this morning and could still feel the pain around the eye.

TMJ and dental issues have been ruled out and I am overdue an eye check but I wondered if anyone had any ideas what it might be?

18 Replies

Could it be thyroid eye disease? I get similar feelings. I tried telling my endo's registrar that last week - that was when I was told that once they had fixed my Graves I couldn't get TED!

My eyes feel like they are being sucked back into their sockets - that and I have been punched in the face - it is always worse in my left eye though and I get a weird sensation between my temple and my eye - have been checked out for temporal arteritis but fortunately it wasn't that, I also get dry eyes, blurred vision and often have an after image / double vision effect. It is amazing how painful really dry eyes can be - they can make your whole face / eye area hurt.

I must say that when I use my eye drops all the time I feel fine - when I don't I feel like someone has punched me in the face - horrible.

Could you have had a migraine you had this morning? Think you can get them without a headache.

Were you getting problems with TED before your RAI? It could be something to do with that that is causing your pain.

Could you even have myesthenia gravis? Think your doctor can do blood tests to check for that.

Be worth going for your eye check up. Good luck :-)


Thanks for replying, Fruit. I didn't have Graves, and don't have dry eyes so I think I can rule out TED. RAI was to mop up ThyCa.

I wondered about migraine. It's not something I'm prone to and I didn't have a headache, but as you say visual disturbance is still possible.

I need to look up temporal arteritis and MG. Thanks for the suggestions.

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Hope yu get sorted out soon. At least you can rule out TED. when I went with the weird feeling in my temple.

I was put on steroids right away while the doctor waited for the blood results, fortunately it wasn't that and I stopped them after about a week. When she prescribed them the doc said I would feel great on them - as she put it 'any aches you have will disappear, you will feel great' and she was right, didn't last long though.

I sometimes sleep through the visual symptoms, of a migraine and just get the headache, other times I get the visuals but no headache. Weird things migraines.

Good luck though, hope you find a cause soon.


Thank you. I shall feel a prat when it turns out to be eyestrain due to old glasses. :-D


Ha! I wouldn't let that bother you at all. If it turns out to be eyes train just be glad, get yourself a nice pair of up to date glasses and wear them :-)

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Hey Clutter

Have had similar symptoms over L eye and brow for about 2 years. Giant cell arteritis and other stuff like tumours ruled out.

Left with a diagnosis of NBID (no bloody idea). Take care (I'm still on the painkillers, don't do pain if there's an alternative)


NBID! :-D I love it, Jayne :-D The pain hasn't often been bad enough to need pain relief thank goodness, I would have tried to sort it out earlier had that been the case. It's much better today, not hurting when I blink, but slight numbness at the jaw hinge and along the cheek bone. Eye check next week, I think.


Good luck with it!

Jayne xx


I had a visual migraine 2 years ago,I don,t suffer from migraines. I had very bright lights they were quite piercing , I also had a numbing sensation down the right side of my face.

Hope you feel better soon.


Thank you, Manukia. I shall be arranging an eye test next week and hopefully that will solve it.


Thyroid Eye Diseases should be treated as separate to hyperthyroidism. This is for information- from Dr Toft's article in case you haven't seen it:-

Most patients presenting with the hyperthyroidism of Graves’ disease will have some evidence of thyroid eye disease, ranging from lid retraction with excessive lacrimation in bright light to marked exophthalmos with limited eye movements, diplopia and reduced visual acuity.3

The hyperthyroidism of Graves’ disease and thyroid eye disease are best considered as two separate, organ-specific autoimmune conditions, which frequently coexist. This explains why the eye disease may precede the hyperthyroidism or even occur for the first time years after successful treatment of hyperthyroidism.

The eye disease has its own natural history – a period of deterioration, followed by one of stability and ultimately of some improvement. But the ophthalmopathy will worsen if thyroid function is not controlled – whether through inadequate or excessive treatment.

The eye changes often persist for two to three years after successful treatment of the hyperthyroidism and although there may be significant improvement there is often residual disease, which can be improved by orbital decompression, strabismus surgery and eyelid surgery.

Of all treatments of the hyperthyroidism of Graves’ disease, iodine-131 therapy is associated most often with a worsening of the ophthalmopathy. For that reason it is relatively contraindicated in patients with significant eye disease. For these it may be better to use combination therapy with carbimazole and levothyroxine for the best possible control of thyroid function.

But if radioiodine is the chosen therapy, enteric-coated prednisolone 30-40mg daily should be prescribed for six weeks, as this has been shown to prevent deterioration of ophthalmopathy.

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Thanks, Shaws. It's very unlikely to be TED as I had Hashi & thyCa, not Graves. Will have an eye test next week and if that doesn't sort things I'll go back to the GP. Endo and surgeon didn't think it would be RAI related but then they wouldn't, would they ;)


Hmm. Just a thought, really Clutter, as it's so long ago for me now, but I had all sorts of odd feelings on the left side of my face after my thyroidectomy : irrational burning sensations, a disruption to touch sensitivity, where a light touch could trigger a heavy pressing sensation, or conversely a fizzing sort of electric shock that sent my earlobe metaphorically wobbling. Often my skin felt as if it was slightly further away than it really was. I know I'm not explaining it very well, but it sure made shaving difficult. I've always put it down to the number of nerves cut during the operation, which was a vintage 71/2 hours. (I held the back of my head on every time I sneezed for a good decade afterwards). I also had 3 zaps of RAI, but I've never really thought that it would affect nerve pathways. Anyway that was all about me, and your 'eyelid lag' also rang a bell. I've had that. Annoying, isn't it? Don't worry, with time it'll all settle down and you'll soon be shaving like a Pro. X



I first noticed it in Nov 2012 not long after RAI WBS and apart from a brief period earlier this year when I forgot about it, presumably because whatever it was stopped, it is getting worse but I don't have a problem shaving :-D


Hi Clutter. There is a possibility that it may not be thyroid connected at all and the timing is a coincidence. Bell's palsy came to my mind but not all the symptoms are right. A trip to GP may be in order.


Hi Monkey,

I don't assume everything is thyroid related but hypothyroidism does affect eye sight and RAI can cause some strange after effects. GP recommended an eye test which is the next step.


Bell's Palsy??


Thanks for replying, EinGA.

I don't think so, my face isn't paralysed and it has become intermittent. GP couldn't see anything wrong.


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