Newswise — Boston (April 29, 2014) – The Massachusetts Eye and Ear and the Graves’ Disease & Thyroid Foundation will host a free educational event for patients living with Graves’ disease and thyroid eye disease on Saturday, May 10 from 8:30 a.m. to noon at Mass. Eye and Ear’s Meltzer Auditorium, 3rd floor, 243 Charles Street, Boston, Mass., 02114. Registration information is available at the Foundation’s web site at gdatf.org or by calling 877-643-3123.
Confirmed presenters hail from Harvard Medical School and Mass. Eye and Ear and will include Dr. Suzanne Frietag, Dr. Ben Bleier, Dr. Daniel Lefebvre, Dr. Michael Yoon, Dr. Dean Cestari, Dr. Gregory Randolph, and Dr. Giuseppe Barbesino.
The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists estimates that up to 30 million Americans may be affected by a thyroid disorder, with half of these cases currently undiagnosed. Two autoimmune disorders, Graves’ disease and Hashimoto’s thyroiditis are responsible for the vast majority of cases of hyperthyroidism (overactive thyroid) and hypothyroidism (underactive thyroid).
Symptoms of hyperthyroidism include weight loss, rapid heartbeat, shortness of breath, muscle weakness, fatigue, insomnia, and heat intolerance. Symptoms of hypothyroidism include fatigue, joint pain, weight gain, constipation, dry skin, cold intolerance, and slow pulse. Patients with autoimmune thyroid disease may also experience a condition called thyroid eye disease, which can cause dryness, light sensitivity, swelling, eye protrusion, and double vision.
“The management of thyroid disease and related eye problems can be challenging for patients and doctors alike,” explains Dr. Freitag, who is director of Mass. Eye and Ear’s Ophthalmic Plastic Service. “The constellation of symptoms is unique in each patient, as is the way each individual copes with them. It is important for patients have a forum to learn more about their diagnosis and have their questions answered by physicians who are experienced in the management of thyroid problems and thyroid-related eye problems. By hearing patient questions and concerns, participating physicians can be more attuned to the needs of their patients.”
About Mass. Eye and EarMass. Eye and Ear clinicians and scientists are driven by a mission to find cures for blindness, deafness and diseases of the head and neck. Led by the Eaton-Peabody Laboratory in Otology, the Howe Laboratory in Ophthalmology and Schepens Eye Research Institute, Mass. Eye and Ear in Boston is the world's largest vision and hearing research center, offering hope and healing to patients everywhere through discovery and innovation. Mass. Eye and Ear is a Harvard Medical School teaching hospital and trains future medical leaders in ophthalmology and otolaryngology, through residency as well as clinical and research fellowships. Internationally acclaimed since its founding in 1824, Mass. Eye and Ear employs full-time, board-certified physicians who offer high-quality and affordable specialty care that ranges from the routine to the very complex. U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Hospitals Survey” has consistently ranked the Mass. Eye and Ear Departments of Otolaryngology and Ophthalmology as among the top hospitals in the nation. For information, visit www.MassEyeAndEar.org.
About the Graves’ Disease and Thyroid FoundationThe Graves’ Disease and Thyroid Foundation provides educational programming and support to patients with Graves’ disease and other thyroid disorders. For more information, please visit www.gdatf.org.