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TED Mixed With Cold Weather

When I had thyroid eye disease (TED), the cold weather was not my friend. I found I made very little progress with my eyes during the months when the cold settled in for the season. Here is how I dealt with my TED during the winter months.

Bundling up

My eyes with TED became very sensitive to any extreme elements. I learned being outside in the blowing snow would irritate my eyes. Once I noticed this, I tried to be outside the least amount as I possibly could. I found being cozy inside was better for me than being outside.

When I did have to go outside, I always wore sunglasses to protect my eyes from the light that bounded off the fallen snow. Somehow outside became piercingly bright when snow fell, causing me to notice things in the environment I had taken for granted beforehand.

Carrying eye drops all winter for my thyroid eye disease

Whenever I had to go out into the cold, I always carried eye drops with me. My eyes in cold weather dried up much faster. I have very dry skin regardless of the climate I am in, and cold weather heightens this. My dry eyes from TED would dry up faster when exposed to cold, wind, and snow.

Being safe, aware, and protective about keeping my eyes lubricated has been a struggle for me. The way my eyes would dry up in the wintertime with TED forced me to have a routine of putting eye drops in more often. There is nothing worse than feeling your eyes dry on a cold day.

Little change

This may just be a me thing but I noticed during the winter months, my eyes rarely made any change. It was as though my eyes would settle into the cold weather and hibernate for a time. What I mean by change is my symptoms (light sensitivity, double vision, etc.) were pretty steady and their appearance (the bug-eyed look) did not change much during this time.

The first winter I had thyroid eye disease, I was obsessed with watching my eyes. I would take selfies multiple times a day, searching for any recognition of the version of my eyes I used to know. Alas, I did not see them and I was often less in frustration in my inability to change my situation. There were many tears shed the first winter.

The second winter with TED was all about acceptance. This was my life, change was not coming any time soon. And it was what it was. I stopped taking selfies, my old eyes were not coming back. I would look in the mirror more often than I would care to admit. This winter taught me patience.

The third winter brought me hope. My symptoms were slowly going away. My double vision had faded away over the summer. There was a global pandemic so my focus was on other things, allowing my eyes to slowly heal. Things were looking up for the first time in 3 years.

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