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Thread: Bulging eye, but not Grave's Disease. Any ideas?

  1. #1

    Bulging eye, but not Grave's Disease. Any ideas?

    I'm really regretful of my first post here, my long rant about how the evil endo walked out on us 2 days ago. I was just so upset, I had to get it off my chest I guess. Thyroid Guy gently suggested I try to break my post down, to get more replies. So here goes....

    What is going on is this: Mom is 60 years old and was diagnosed with Hashimoto's Disease about 1985. She's been on Synthroid all this time. (150mg now). She was born blind in her left eye, a preemie baby. In the past couple of months, her blind eye has started to bugg out. And it's scratchy to her. No change in meds, or any situation has occurred that could have caused this, nothing comes to mind.

    We went to an eye dr. He said Grave's disease, let's get some bloodwork. A week later, the bloodwork came back, and he said it was not grave's disease after all, all tests indicated hashimoto's, just like always. The eye doctor says he's stumped, so he sends Mom to an endocrinologist who says he has no idea what is wrong with her eye either. Anyways, she gets a CAT scan done to make sure there are no tumors near her eyes. Nothing on the cat scan. She had an ultrasound on her thyroid and they didn't find any swelling, no nodules, no goiter, nothing. The bloodwork, we found out, indicated that her immune system is attacking the fat behind her blind eye, in the sinus cavities in there, and it is attacking slightly in her other eye too, although it is not noticeable yet. So we know she has this autoimmune disorder.

    The endo says he has no idea what is wrong with her eye, but her T3 is up, and now he wants to do an iodine uptake test, which I think is a waste of time, but we are going to do it anyways because she's already had the cat scan and the ultrasound and 3x bloodwork in the past 3 weeks or so.

    Does anyone know---can this eye problem be related to her thyroid problem? Does the thyroid make the antibodies that are attacking the fat behind her eye?? The endo specifically told me she did NOT have thyroid eye disease.

  2. #2
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    Re: Bulging eye, but not Grave's Disease. Any ideas?

    Hello Blackberrybunny and to the forum. I am sorry to learn you and your Mom are having such
    problems. I have googled "Thyroid+protruding eyes", and find quite a lot of references which say that although it is mainly due to hypERthyroid it can also occur with hyPOthyroidism, Your eye doctor should
    have known that, surely; perhaps you should refer him to the following, para4. or to According to this site, of all cases of TED about 80%
    are due to Graves, about 10% to Hashimoto's and a further 10% have no other thyroid symptoms at all !

    I hope this helps a little


  3. #3
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    Sep 2009
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    Re: Bulging eye, but not Grave's Disease. Any ideas?

    Thank you, Ginny, for your reply and those links. I too have read that a small % of people with Hashimoto's can get the bulging eye.

    That first link you sent, para 4 says that it might be Thyroid Eye Disease, yet I specifically asked the Endo if this is what it was, and he said NO. I am thinking he is wrong, and utterly incompetent.



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