My Battle Against Hyperthyroidism and Graves’ Disease
While treating a patient one morning; I turned my head to the left and I saw an image which did not make sense. When I turned my head again to the left, again the same thing, double vision in my left eye? I was seeing two images of my patient walking down the health clinic hallway! But when I turned my head to the right, extended my neck, and then flexed my neck, normal vision?
As a male in my early forties at that time my thought was, this will resolve in time. I’ll go and see an optometrist eventually… I definitely had no intention of looking up my symptoms on the internet. Frankly, I was scared of what I would discover!
I went to see a physician shortly thereafter and he prescribed eye drops and diagnosed me with an eye infection in my left eye. Prognosis was 7-10 days and, “you should be fine.” That weekend I was riding in the Ride to Conquer Cancer bike ride. For those of you not familiar with this charity event, it is a 220 km bike ride over 2 days from Toronto, Canada to Niagara Fall, Canada. I completed my ride, but had to be very careful when checking over my left shoulder, because I kept experiencing double vision in my left eye. This is how my Graves’ disease started 2 years ago. It was a month later when the other symptoms started appearing, increased weight loss, swelling and redness of my left eye, irritability, and increased heart rate.
Graves’ disease is the most common cause of an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism). Some people with Graves’ disease develop double vision due to swelling and thickening of the muscles that move the eyes within the eye socket. Graves’ disease is an autoimmune thyroid disease. In some people, antibodies attack the tissues around the eyeball, causing thyroid eye disease. It is not known why this happens in some people and not in others.
Here are a couple great links on the signs and symptoms of monocular diplopia (double vision), Graves’ disease, and hyperthyroidism.
Have a great day!