Thyroid eye disease (TED), also known as Graves’ orbitopathy or Graves’ ophthalmopathy, is an autoimmune inflammatory disorder that affects the orbit of the eye. TED is mainly seen in patients with an overactive thyroid (hyperthyroidism) caused by Graves’ disease, an autoimmune disease of the thyroid gland. About one quarter of people with Graves’ disease develop eye problems. TED affects hundreds of thousands of people in the world and approximately 50,000 people in the UK.

Early diagnosis of TED is essential for treatment to be effective and people with TED need to be looked after by an eye specialist (ophthalmologist) and a thyroid specialist (endocrinologist).

Access of patients with thyroid eye disease to specialist centres and expertise varies widely. For this reason TEAMeD - a project supported by eye specialists, thyroid specialists, and patient support organisations (the BTF and the Thyroid Eye Disease Charitable Trust) was formed. It aims to improve care for people in the UK with TED, by putting in place measures to ensure access to information, early diagnosis, appropriate treatment, and access to skilled professionals – endocrinologists and ophthalmologists offering high standards of joint care.

TED is a distressing condition and some people find it can have a long-term effect on their psychological and social well-being. Information and support is available from a variety of sources.