What You Should Know About How Hypothyroidism Affects Your Vision


Hypothyroidism is known to be a condition that affects your body's ability to produce and regulate thyroid hormone levels. What many people don't understand until a visit with an optometrist is that hypothyroidism can also affect the condition of your eyes. Understanding your underlying condition and treating your poor thyroid function is essential to treating any side effects that may affect your eyes. Here's a look at some of the things that your optometrist may notice if you have hypothyroidism.      


When you suffer from hypothyroidism, you may develop some swelling in your face and around your eyes. This is often caused by protein accumulation under your lower layers of skin. When you treat your hypothyroidism, you'll find that those proteins typically dissipate. This will ease the swelling around your eyes.

Eyelid Drooping

Another common eye-related problem for people with hypothyroidism is drooping eyelids. It occurs because your thyroid hormones also influence your nervous system function, including that of your eyelid control. When you have hypothyroidism, you may find that your eyelids droop slightly until you get your thyroid hormone levels balanced out.

Eye Dryness and Bulging

When your body's antithyroid antibodies, typically produced due to an autoimmune disease that's caused your hypothyroidism, attack the soft tissue of your eye, it can lead to dryness and bulging. Your eyes may seem to bulge because the tissue in your eyes will become inflamed and swollen due to the antibodies attacking it. Over time, this pushes the eyeballs forward slightly. In severe cases, your eyelids may not be able to close all the way, which leaves your eyes prone to dryness.

Nerve Damage

When the soft tissue of your eye is attacked by the antithyroid antibodies, sometimes this can even affect the optic nerve. Since this nerve is the primary path of communication between your brain and your eye, this can be serious. In some cases, this damage caused to the optic nerve may even cause permanent damage or complete loss of vision in the affected eye. Sometimes, thyroid conditions are detected when you experience nerve problems and vision loss that lead you to a visit with your optometrist. He or she can identify the inflammation and other problems in your eye, and may recommend that you see your primary care doctor for testing.

It's important to understand that some vision problems may not be directly related to your eyes. In some situations, like with the symptoms here, they may be a sign of more serious conditions, such as hypothyroidism. If you are having vision trouble, you should talk with your optometrist for a thorough exam and to see if you may have a thyroid condition.


17 August 2015

A New You

Growing up, one of my best friends was also my cousin. This special cousin and I shared something in common. We both had fiery red hair. When we were kids, many people thought we were sisters when they saw us together. Sadly, my cousin was born with crossed eyes, and because of her condition, she was often ridiculed by the other kids at school. As we grew older we began researching modern ways to correct her problem. Together we found the perfect solution. If you were born with crossed eyes, don’t despair. You do have hope. On this blog, you will discover the latest treatments optometrists use to help cure a patient’s crossed eyes.