The thyroid cancer survivors have higher chances of getting eye diseases than the others, studies reveal. A recently published report says that the thyroid cancer survivors could possibly get eye diseases within 1-5 years after the cancer diagnosis than the normal population. This increase seems the same for all, young or old.

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Age is no barrier when it comes to eye diseases. It is truer when there is thyroid cancer involved. Whether the risk is an after effect of the cancer treatment drugs or not, is yet to establish. The study says that the risk is persistent in a wider time period of 10 yrs.

Eye Diseases And Thyroid Cancer Survivors

The eye diseases could be common but that followed by the thyroid cancer is tough on the person. The risk of getting an eye disease of any kind is higher when the person already has any other health condition like diabetes, hypertension, osteoporosis etc. Since the age is not a factor for the eye diseases in the survivors, these health conditions would only be second in line as risk factors. The primary risk factor stays the same- cancer and its treatment.

These thyroid cancer survivors are at the risk of developing many of the age-related diseases as well. Research has already begun to find a solution to reduce such risk of long-term health issues in them.

Thyroid Glands And Eye Diseases

Thyroid glands are important for the hormone production. When they fail to do the job properly, we call it hyperthyroidism or hypothyroidism. The former is the higher than normal work rate of these glands and the later is the condition where these glands fail to produce enough hormones.

Grave’s Disease

The hyperthyroidism could also be a case of an autoimmune disease called Grave’s disease. Here, the body produces excess antibodies that trigger higher production of thyroid hormones. This immune malfunction can affect the eye muscles to become fat that leads to swollen eyes. This is one kind of eye diseases known as Thyroid Eye Disease. It is a rare occurrence as the Grave’s disease itself is rare.

Though this TED is connected to Grave’s Disease it is not the Grave’s disease that is causing the eye problem. It is caused by the immune system itself.

Hypothyroidism And Eyesight

In rare cases, hypothyroidism can cause swelling around the eyes. It can also lead to loss of hair from the eyebrows as well. While the damage to the eyes is more in the case of Grave’s disease, the problems with hypothyroidism are milder and curable.

Eye Diseases And Cancer In General

The drugs and medications used for the cancer disease can affect the eyes. They are capable of even causing cataract in some. In most cases, the cancer drugs cause only temporary changes in the eyesight. These would soon go once the level of these drugs in the blood reduces. The usual eye irritations seen are,

  • High pressure in the eye
  • Damage to the optic nerve
  • Cataract
  • Blurred vision
  • Dim vision
  • Headaches

Thyroids, Cancer And Eye Diseases

As you can see both thyroids and cancer can cause eyes diseases, the probability increases when all of these factors come together. It need not cause the eye diseases but the chances are still there.

Moreover, cancer makes the person weak and the immunity weaker. It might take years for some to regain the former strength. These vulnerable years would be enough for the other factors to step in and cause the eye disease. The actual cause for this vulnerability in the thyroid cancer survivors for eye diseases is not established. Until then we can only assume and take necessary steps as to avoid any such diseases.

The eye diseases are bulging eyes, cataract, retina infection, glaucoma, low vision, the pressure in the eyes, inflammation etc. Most of these are happening as a result of lower immunity. In the thyroid cancer survivors, the immune system would be weaker for a few years before it can be stronger. Maybe, it is this time period within the eye diseases catches on.

Thyroid Cancer And Other Diseases

The studies also show that the thyroid cancer survivors could develop the age-related diseases easier than others. They need to be extra cautious about their health than ever before. Apart from regular checkups, they must also take part in a healthy living and lifestyle.

The common diseases they could get are hypertension, diabetes, lower immunity etc. These are easily manageable problems and preventable as well.


The thyroid cancer was a rarity in the past. It is becoming common over the past few decades. It is also alarming that it is women who are more prone to these diseases than men. As it is, a life after thyroid cancer is rough. It can be tougher if there are risks like eye diseases are involved. Hopefully, scientists can sooner come up with the real cause for this vulnerability and these survivors are able to have a better life after their life-changing ordeal.