Home » Vision and Hearing » Thyroid Eye Disease and The Power of Your Voice

Elizabeth H.Z. Thompson, Ph.D.

Group Vice President, Clinical Development and External Search, Horizon

You may not recognize it by name, but you or someone you know may be struggling with Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) — a serious, progressive, vision-threatening autoimmune disease that can rob people of their independence and self-confidence.

TED often occurs in people with Graves’ disease or hyperthyroidism, but it is a different disease that needs different treatment.

At Horizon Therapeutics, we have dedicated a significant amount of time and effort to researching and developing a new medicine for TED, inspired and driven by the stories from people impacted by this debilitating disease. This work culminated earlier this year with our medicine becoming the first and only treatment for TED approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This would not have been possible without the partnership of healthcare professionals, advocacy organizations and, most importantly, people living with TED. While our clinical trial data are compelling, nothing compares to the real-life accounts from people who are living with TED. 

In medical terms, TED causes the muscle and fat tissue behind one or both eyes to become inflamed and swollen, resulting in symptoms like eye bulging, double vision, persistent irritation, light sensitivity, and pain. In human terms, this means a person can lose the ability to drive, work, and read, which can also lead to social isolation and depression. If you identify with these symptoms and experiences, we encourage you to take action, share what you’re going through and seek help. 

If left untreated, TED can cause permanent damage to vision and appearance. That is why it is important for people who have TED — or have risk factors for TED, like Graves’ disease — to make an appointment with an eye specialist, like an ophthalmologist or an oculoplastic surgeon. These specialists will conduct a baseline eye exam, followed by routine monitoring, to ensure appropriate steps are taken to manage the disease. To find a nearby specialist who is knowledgeable about TED, visit TEDSpecialist.com. And remember, your voice matters.

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