In support of Graves’ Disease Awareness Month, Horizon Therapeutics and Prevent Blindness launched an initiative encouraging people who are living with Graves’ disease to “FOCUS“ on their eye health by recognizing the symptoms of a separate, but related disease called Thyroid Eye Disease (TED). Up to half of people with Graves’ disease will develop TED – a serious, progressive and vision-threatening rare autoimmune disease that causes painful symptoms like eye bulging, double vision and facial disfigurement.1,2
The initiative, which was developed with input from the Graves’ disease and TED community, features a memory device that uses the word “FOCUS“ to help people take steps to recognize and manage TED. Now through July 31, 2020, Horizon will donate $1 (up to $25,000) to Prevent Blindness each time the “FOCUS” graphic is shared on social media.
“When first diagnosed with Graves’ disease, I thought the eye symptoms were just one facet of this rare autoimmune disease,” said Christine G., who has been living with TED for 10 years. “Similar to others with TED, I had light sensitivity, grittiness, pain, swelling and bulging of my eyes. After years of struggling to find answers, I learned that TED needed to be managed separately from Graves’. With this knowledge, an entirely new world of hope opened before me. I am confident that this initiative will help others get an accurate diagnosis and will provide them with the vital resources and support now available to them.”
The FOCUS memory device includes the following steps:
- Figure out your risk for TED
- Observe your symptoms
- Contact an eye specialist, such as an ophthalmologist, neuro-ophthalmologist or oculoplastic surgeon (visit TEDdoctors.com)
- Use resources to educate yourself and take action
- Speak up for the care you deserve
“Prevent Blindness is committed to helping people who live with low vision, vision impairment and vision-related eye diseases feel empowered to speak up and get the care they deserve,” said Jeff Todd, president and chief executive officer, Prevent Blindness. “People living with TED don’t have to struggle in silence. There are resources, like this initiative, that can help. We are proud to be a part of bringing much-needed attention to this often overlooked eye disease.”
People who are living with Graves’ disease are encouraged to pay attention to changes in their eyes and visit an eye specialist, such as an ophthalmologist, neuro-ophthalmologist or oculoplastic surgeon, to get an eye exam. Spotting the signs and symptoms of TED early can help decrease the chances of serious and potentially permanent eye damage.3 All FOCUS resources will be posted throughout the month of July to the Listen to Your Eyes Facebook community. Additional information about TED can be found at ThyroidEyes.com, including what symptoms to watch for, a tool for tracking symptoms and a specialist finder; and on the Prevent Blindness website.