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Prevent Blindness Declares Third Annual Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) Awareness Week as Nov. 14-20, 2022

Prevent Blindness to provide TED educational materials, promote awareness, and offer unique Art Therapy program for patients and care partners

Prevent Blindness has declared Nov. 14-20, 2022, as its third annual “Thyroid Eye Disease Awareness (TED) Week.” TED, sometimes called Graves’ ophthalmopathy or Graves’ Eye Disease, is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system causes inflammation and swelling and stimulates the production of muscle tissue and fat behind the eye.

To help raise awareness and provide free educational content to patients, care partners and healthcare professionals, Prevent Blindness offers TED fact sheets and social media graphics in English and Spanish, and a dedicated webpage. Also available is the “Thyroid Eye Disease” episode of the Focus on Eye Health Expert Series, featuring Prevent Blindness President and CEO Jeff Todd interviewing Sara Wester, MD, FACS, professor of clinical ophthalmology at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, and TED patient Stephen Bander. TED Awareness Week is supported by Horizon Therapeutics, a global biotechnology company focused on rare, autoimmune and severe inflammatory diseases.

Risk factors for TED include:

  • Graves’ disease
  • Low levels of thyroid hormones (hypothyroidism)
  • Age: Usually affects middle-age adults but can occur at any age
  • Gender: Females are affected more than males
  • Family history of thyroid eye disease
  • Smoking: Smoking increases the risk of thyroid eye disease by 7–8 times, causes thyroid eye disease to have a longer “active phase,” and reduces the effectiveness of treatments
  • Radioactive iodine therapy: Radioactive iodine has been used to treat hyperthyroidism and Graves’ disease. This treatment should be used with caution in people with active thyroid eye disease as it may worsen the condition unless steroids are given at the same time
  • Low blood levels of selenium, a dietary mineral.

Those interested in participating in the next session may sign up for the Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program waiting list. This program is supported by funding from Horizon Therapeutics.

Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program for People with Thyroid Eye Disease

“By providing TED patients and their care partners with information and tools they need to understand Thyroid Eye Disease, along with offering the Prevent Blindness Art Therapy Program to help address the mental health impact, we can help to minimize the negative effect that TED often has,” said Jeff Todd, president and CEO of Prevent Blindness.

For more information on TED, please visit preventblindness.org/thyroid-eye-disease/ or FOCUSonTED.com. For details on the Prevent Blindness Art Therapy program, visit preventblindness.org/events/art-therapy-fall-2022/.

Download a copy of the 2022 TED Week media release.