Olympian raises awareness for thyroid eye disease

JACKSON, Tenn. — May is Healthy Vision Month.

The month’s aim is to bring awareness to some diseases, such as thyroid eye disease, that can make life difficult by impacting senses that you use everyday.

Thyroid eye disease is a rare, inflammatory disease that develops around the eye and eye sockets, and is typically associated with thyroid imbalance and Graves’ disease.

Symptoms include bulging of the eyes, dryness that may cause redness, irritation, and blurry vision.

Thyroid eye disease most commonly affects women over the age of 40, including Olympic gold medalist Gail Devers. But she found out almost 30 years after being diagnosed with Graves’ disease.

“I was finally diagnosed with my Graves’ disease in 1990, and my eye symptoms were already there. I was already having these issues, but no one ever told me that they were separate from my Graves’ disease and I needed to be treated by a separate specialist,” Devers said.

Devers says what helped her keep her mental health on track was writing and reading other stories, which you can access at dearTEDletters.com.

She encourages everyone at-risk to be checked for thyroid eye disease and to be aware of your health.

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