As many of you may have read from my Instagram post, I couldn’t clearly see my son, Felix, when he was born and I didn’t know why. Something was wrong with my vision and I had no idea what was causing it. In fact, I didn’t even associate it with my vision. Was I just lightheaded? Too little iron? Or maybe just too much screen time (hello, nursing mothers!).
But it turned out that this new and ongoing problem was more than just the typical postpartum adjustments to a new baby. Eventually I was diagnosed with postpartum thyroiditis with the possibility of Graves’ disease.
For those of you who are new to all of this (I definitely was when I involuntarily jumped into this boat), Graves’ disease is an autoimmune disease that causes hyperthyroidism. What?! Me, hyperthyroidism? You can imagine my surprise.
Something was off, I could feel it for sure, but with a new baby, running a business, and all the stresses of life, I couldn’t tell if I was just stressed out, burned out, or who knows what. Eventually I went to the doctor because I really wasn’t doing well. I hadn’t lost a single pound from birth, my hormones were heightened (that’s a tactful way of saying it my husband would say ;), and my blurry “light-headedness” was at an all-time high.
The doctor helped me pinpoint that it wasn’t actually light-headedness, it was my vision. It was slow to focus and blurry. These were the symptoms directly after childbirth!
Thyroid Eye Disease
Luckily for me, and the timing couldn’t have been more perfect, I’ve partnered up with Horizon Therapeutics on its Listen to Your Eyes campaign to share information on the link between thyroid conditions, like Graves’ disease, and a separate but related disease called Thyroid Eye Disease (TED). Did you know that up to 50% of people living with Graves’ disease are at risk for developing Thyroid Eye Disease (TED)?
Since my diagnosis, I’ve opened my eyes (pun not intended) to the possibility of new diagnoses and how beneficial this information can be to others who may be struggling with similar issues but are lacking the resources they need to understand what they’re living with and how to cope.
Knowledge brings hope
When I began this journey, I felt at a loss to understand what was happening to my body. Now I know so much and am still learning!
Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) causes eye symptoms including bulging, double vision and debilitating pain. If not treated early, TED can cause serious damage to vision and appearance of the eyes. TED can even cause vision loss in more severe cases.
I still have so much to learn but have a lot of hope for the future. If you or someone you love has Graves’ disease, pay attention to any eye symptoms. If you notice changes in your eyes, like bulging, light sensitivity and pain, don’t just assume those symptoms are part of Graves’ disease. Report them to a TED Specialist – such as an oculoplastic surgeon or neuro-ophthalmologist.
To find a nearby TED Specialist and other resources, visit www.FOCUSonTED.com.
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