Press Release

AEVR Holds Congressional Briefing Recognizing the First Annual Thyroid Eye Disease Awareness Week

(Washington, D.C.) Following up on its first-ever Thyroid Eye Disease (TED) Congressional Briefing  held in November 2019, the Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR) is hosting a November 19, 2020, global virtual Briefing recognizing the first annual TED Awareness Week. Held from 12 Noon – 1:15 pm, interested participants can RSVP to Dina Beaumont at dinabeau@aol.com or 202-407-8325 or click directly into the following event link: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/5992707118197515278    

The Briefing, streamed globally with support from the Association for Research in Vision and  Ophthalmology (ARVO), features speakers Gary Lelli, MD, who serves as the Vice Chair of Ophthalmology at Weill Cornell Medicine, and Christine G., a TED patient advocate.

TED is a serious, debilitating, and vision-threatening rare autoimmune disease where the immune system attacks muscles and other tissue behind and around the eyes. People living with TED frequently experience long-term functional, psychosocial, and economic burdens, including inability to work and perform activities of daily living that can result in depression and accelerated mortality. Because TED is progressive, early management and treatment of the disease can be critical. TED is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed due to the similarities of its symptoms to less-severe eye conditions, such as dry eye and allergies.

TED is an ongoing condition with two phases and if left untreated may get worse over time.

  • When patients first develop TED, it is in the “acute” phase, sometimes referred to as the “active” phase. During this time, inflammation and scarring begin and often appear suddenly, causing symptoms that include eye bulging and double vision. The acute phase generally lasts 6 months to 3 years.
  • Over time, TED changes into the “chronic” – also known as the “inactive” – phase where scarring and damage continues. During this phase, some symptoms, like redness or swelling, may get better, but others, such as eye bulging, may not go away.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH), through its National Eye Institute (NEI), is funding research into TED, as is private industry, to develop new therapies. Although past treatments for TED have consisted of corticosteroids and ocular lubricants which only treat the symptoms, in 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first and only approved therapy for TED. As a result, physicians and TED patients may no longer have to wait for progression to inactivity and for inflammation to subside to perform complex surgical procedures that may be associated with additional complications.

Alliance for Eye and Vision Research (AEVR), a 501(c)3 non-profit foundation, is proud to announce this educational program associated with its Decade of Vision 2010-2020 Initiative, a sustained educational effort acknowledged by Congress that recognizes the benefits of federally funded vision research. Visit AEVR’s Web site at www.eyeresearch.org