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What is Graves' eye disease?

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An autoimmune condition, this happens when your immune cells attack your thyroid gland (a butterfly-shaped gland in your neck), causing it to create too much thyroid hormone. That can impact your metabolism and trigger your immune system to attack the tissue around your eyes. When that happens, your eye muscles and the fat in your eyes can expand. That will make your eyes and eyelids bulge. Your eyelids might not close all the way.

SOURCES:

NHS U.K.: “Eyelid problems."

Harvard Medical School HealthBeat: “The aging eye: when to worry about eyelid problems,” “Ask the doctor: What can I do about xanthelasma on my eyelids?”

University of Michigan Health System: “Eyelid problems.”

National Eye Institute: “Blepharospasm.”

Mayo Clinic: “Sty,” “Pinkeye.”

Oklahoma Otolaryngology Associates: “Causes of Uneven Eyes and Its Treatment.”

UC San Diego Health: “Dermatochalasis.”

American Academy of Ophthalmology: “Dermatochalasis,” “What Are Chalazia and Styes?”

Michigan Medicine Kellogg Eye Center: “Thyroid Eye Disease (TED or Graves’ Eye Disease).”

Andrea Thau, OD, associate clinical professor emerita, SUNY State College of Optometry; past president, American Optometric Association.

Reviewed by Whitney Seltman on July 11, 2020

SOURCES:

NHS U.K.: “Eyelid problems."

Harvard Medical School HealthBeat: “The aging eye: when to worry about eyelid problems,” “Ask the doctor: What can I do about xanthelasma on my eyelids?”

University of Michigan Health System: “Eyelid problems.”

National Eye Institute: “Blepharospasm.”

Mayo Clinic: “Sty,” “Pinkeye.”

Oklahoma Otolaryngology Associates: “Causes of Uneven Eyes and Its Treatment.”

UC San Diego Health: “Dermatochalasis.”

American Academy of Ophthalmology: “Dermatochalasis,” “What Are Chalazia and Styes?”

Michigan Medicine Kellogg Eye Center: “Thyroid Eye Disease (TED or Graves’ Eye Disease).”

Andrea Thau, OD, associate clinical professor emerita, SUNY State College of Optometry; past president, American Optometric Association.

Reviewed by Whitney Seltman on July 11, 2020

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