Thyroid UK
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Underactive thyroid and dry eyes

I've recently been diagnosed with dry eye syndrome and have read it could be connected to my underactive thyroid. Does any one else have this problem and have any advice? I became very ill about seven years ago before FINALLY being diagnosed. They didn't test for it as I'm slim. I now take 75mg levo every day and tests say that the dose is right. But like many others, I've never been quite right since this all began.

10 Replies

Oh dry eyes! Tell me. When you say you've got dry eyes no one can imagine how painful and awful it is.

Anyway, I've pretty much fixed mine - as long as I keep using the drops even when my eyes get better. I've got a bad habit of relaxing my treatment when the goings good then of course they get sore again.

I use preservative free eye drops, regularly throughout the day not just morning and night. I don't use night time 'gunk' but you may benefit from using that, certainly at first, again get preservative free. I also have an 'eye bag', it's a bag filled with beads, I've got two one is plastic and filled with things that look like blue bubbles, the other is satin and filled with ? - it doesn't wash though which I don't like - anyway you pop the bag in the microwave for a few seconds then you lie down and lay it over your eyes for awhile. That feels good, you can also use a face cloth squeezed out under a hot tap but it cools faster than the eye bag.

My preferred drops are Theolose Duo, Theolose Duo Gel. I also like HycoSan - there are different types but they all work. You might get Hyabak from your doctor but they tend not to want to give it to you as it is expensive. You don't want to use Hypromelose /Geltears or Liquifilm tears if you can avoid them. Good luck. Hopefully soon your eyes will feel better.


I had an optometrist put punctal plugs in my eyes and they really helped, it's a very quick process but they need to get the right size plug or it just falls out. Mine lasted for years and when they finally fell out, my dry eye didn't come back.

Before the plugs were fitted, I was using eyedrops daily but they didn't fix the problem for me. I don't think my dry eye was related to thyroid, mine was due to wearing contact lenses too much and then I had laser eye surgery which made the dryness worse.


Do you know if your hypothyroidism is autoimmune in origin? In other words, do you have positive thyroid antibodies?

if you do, then having one autoimmune disease increases your risk of getting others. For example Sjogren's Syndrome is one autoimmune disease that causes dry eyes. I imagine there are probably several other possibilities but I'm a novice on this subject. It has other symptoms that people might suffer from, such as dry mouth, dry and itchy ears, dry skin, dry genitalia, dry lungs...

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Yes after my thyroid was removed In 2013 my eyes would either be blood shot or dry. My GP sent me to eye specialist at local hospital. They did lots of tests and recomended just about the whole rang sold by Boots!! I use them off and on as symptoms change. Still have problems.


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Hi,. I suffer with underactive thyroid my levels go up and down all the time, my gp doesn't keep an eye on me. Can I ask what made the doctors remove yours?

Thanks Julie x


Hi Julie, my thyroid hasn't been removed. My doctor doesn't keep an eye either, so I request a blood test every six months and request a copy of the results. I'm better than I was before diagnosis but have never been the same as I was before. Dry eyes is just one issue! However if you insist on those blood tests it should be beneficial

Claire x


Hi thanks for your reply, my last blood tests came back fine yet I still feel sluggish and tired. I'm due to go for another lot so see what they tell me X

Julie x


Sorry to hear you are struggling with dry eyes.

I managed hypothyroidism for years. Got very poorly couple of years ago. Finally diagnosed Sjogrens Syndrome. Another autoimmune disease. Overlapping autoimmune disease can be difficult to manage as never know which is causing what! However, sjogrens awareness is increasing. There is help.

You can Google BSSA it is a great organisation. Perhaps you do have sjogrens, perhaps you do not. Though, it would be a shame if you are missing out on advice. They offer help, people that you can speak to, and/or meet face to face, at meetings.

Personally, my GP and practice staff, have not only been useless, their approach has harmed me because they were so dismissive of my debilitating symptoms. I lost confidence in myself and in my GP.

This site is fantastic. As are BSSA.

The microwave eye mask, as mentioned, is wonderful. Eye drops are trial and error, what suits one, may not suit another.

I also use blephasol as advised by optician. Blephasol is very refreshing and ensures my eyes are less likely to become infected. Had belpharitis once. Not pleasant. As someone else here said, microwave mask not washable. I wipe the silk with a blephasol wipe after use. Blephasol comes in bottles and handy wipes. I keep wipes in my handbag, and refresh my eyes if I'm out and about and have eye issues such as burning, itching.

Good luck. See optician 6 monthly and/or as necessary. I find they are happy to check my eyes if problems in between yearly eye test.

Building relationships with health care providers is better than keep being disappointed with less compassionate ones.

Health unlocked and BSSA allows me to regain confidence in myself, thus, I manage better than when I turned to GP.

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Thank you for your advice 🙂


I have Thyroid Eye Disease, so can totally relate to what you are experiencing. My eyes were streaming so much, I had to use Vaseline under my eyes to stop the chafing! Dry eye is awful! I saw a functional health practitioner and she recommended Sea Buckthorne capsules (They're Omega 7's). They made a great difference to me. My TED is in burnout phase and so I don't need them any more. Try them, you've nothing to lose.


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