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TED in the Footnotes

Recently, I was at the store when I came across this magazine all about thyroid health. I was waiting in line and had some time, so I flipped through it. Specifically, I was trying to see if there were any mentions of thyroid eye disease (TED). I found the part about TED, and to be honest with you, it was quite underwhelming and a little offensive to someone who has suffered from this disease.

Seeing thyroid eye disease in a magazine

There were articles about thyroid health and what you can do to take care of your thyroid, and the differences between Hashimoto’s and Graves' disease. In the article on Graves', there was a small mention on the side of a page about TED. It was not so much about the disease, but the warning signs to look out for with your eyes if you have Graves'.

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The typical signs of TED were listed. Irritation. Swelling. Dry Eyes. Bulging. It felt very clinical which I knew was the point of the article. But all of those signs caused me so much emotional and physical pain for years that it triggered me to read them in a magazine being described so cut and dry.

Only a mention: One that did not match my experience

It is a rare disease, so on one hand, I understand why it did not get an article of its own. On the other hand, I wish it had more than just a warning sign attached to Graves'. This is a disease that really impacted my life for such a long time. It is rare but it is very real.

At the end of the TED mention, the writer talked about how simple it can be to treat this disease. (Yes, I did laugh when I read there are simple ways of treating this disease -if it were only that easy.) It suggested that using eyedrops, wearing sunglasses, and sleeping elevated at night could help relieve symptoms. The writer goes on to say that in certain situations, if the disease leaves you with double vision or you are unable to close your eyes, then you may need surgery.

I overused eye drops and they barely helped me. My uniform while having TED was a hat and sunglasses. Every day. Every time I stepped out of my house, I always had those 2 things on. And sleeping-wise, I tried sleeping on my back elevated and just could not do it.

Considering purpose, author, and audience

What is interesting about this mention of TED is the fact that the author is likely someone who has not experienced the condition themselves. They are just writing what they have been assigned. The article was meant to be clinical and informative, but reading it, I felt it was just skimming the surface of what this disease really is. The reader is someone in a grocery store, waiting to check out. Maybe they have thyroid problems or know someone who has one. It was not meant to be deep.

When I went to the store a few days later, I did not see the magazine on the stand at the checkout. I looked around and it was nowhere to be found. I wonder if people bought it before it got pulled off the stand. I guess I will never know.

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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