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  • Can reading harm a cornea damaged by thyroid eye disease?


    I have a scratched cornea in one eye due to thyroid eye disease. If I read extensively, could it further damage my cornea?


    Thyroid eye disease can cause bulging eyes, puffy lids, double vision, and in the worst scenario, loss of vision from optic nerve damage, or damage to the cornea from drying out. Lubricating the eyes with drops and ointment, patching the eye closed at night, sleeping with head elevated, and dietary salt restrictions can help, but some people require further measures such as steroids (orally, intravenously, or nasally), radiation therapy, or surgery.

    Reading will not harm you. But our eyes blink less when reading so a very dry cornea may cause irritation and blurred vision. Taking more frequent breaks and using frequent artificial tears should help. But it is important that you see an ophthalmologist, and follow treatment instructions.

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