My Daily Routine with Thyroid Eye Disease

At this point in my journey with thyroid eye disease (TED), I've had 4 surgeries to help reverse some of the damage caused by TED. These surgeries certainly helped a great deal and made my life so much better, but my eyes are not the same as they were before TED. I have found that it is still necessary to alter my daily routine to help make managing symptoms a bit easier.

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My new morning routine with TED

In the morning, my eyes are dry and puffy when I wake up. Unfortunately, the dryness has been persistent throughout my experience with TED, and the puffiness is simply due to gravity/lying down for several hours.

Sleep position

I have found that sleeping with my head slightly more elevated can help with this problem, but I'm currently also navigating chronic neck pain, which requires its' own specific pillow setup.

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Soothing dry eyes

But once I wake up, I'll adjust my pillows to elevate my head and add my first eye drops of the day. I also place a warm compress over my eyes if I have time. While there are different methods and products, my favorite is simply a washcloth with warm water. The extra moisture is soothing for my dry eyes, and I can see a difference in the puffiness in just a minute or two.

Makeup

Then it's time for makeup! While I love wearing makeup, I purposefully avoid doing it first thing in the morning. I want to give my eyes a chance to calm down and have the freedom to use eye drops throughout the morning without fear of messing up my carefully placed mascara and eyeliner.

I usually work from home or in my neighborhood in the mornings, so fortunately, I can be home to do my makeup around lunchtime. I pack my bag for the day and often bring eyeliner, concealer, and a small eye shadow palette to touch up my makeup in case my eyes get irritated.

Tools to support my eyes throughout the day

I also bring sunglasses because sunglasses can be a barrier between the wind and my eyes, even on cloudy days. I do my best to stay hydrated throughout the day, and it may sound silly, but I have to remember to take breaks to blink. I look at screens a lot for work and enjoy seeing theatre in my free time. I've noticed that screens and the bright stage lights irritate my eyes a bit, but I recognize that I also may be very focused and will naturally not blink as often. Taking a moment to intentionally take a break and close my eyes for a few seconds helps.

My evening routine

At the end of the day, I remove my makeup well. Then, it's time for more eye drops. I fill the small humidifier by my bed to help decrease dryness (if I forget to do this, I can certainly tell the difference by the morning), and I use gel eye drops right before falling asleep. These eye drops can make vision a bit blurry for a minute, but these are extra hydrating and soothing.

Do you have any tips that have helped you throughout the day?

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