How Does Hypothyroidism Cause Drooping Eyelids?

Hypothyroidism does not cause droopy eyelids; however, many patients with hypothyroidism have droopy eyelids because hypothyroidism commonly occurs with Grave's disease, according to Klapper Eyelid & Facial Plastic Surgery and the Kellogg Eye Center. Grave's disease attacks the tissue surrounding the eye, which leads to sagging skin around the eyes and droopy eyelids.

In Grave's disease, antibodies attack the patient's thyroid, leading to an overproduction or underproduction of thyroid hormones as well as an attack of the tissue surrounding the eye. Hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism also are a result of antibodies attacking the patient's thyroid; therefore, these conditions often occur with Grave's disease. Interestingly, although Grave's disease and hypothyroidism have identical causes, they are different diseases and must receive different treatments, explains the Kellogg Eye Center.

Patients typically need surgery to fix drooping eyelid problems because typical thyroid treatment does not reverse the tissue damage around the eye. Patients with thyroid-related eye disease in addition to their hypothyroidism or hyperthyroidism may experience additional eye symptoms such as dry eyes, irritated eyes, swelling around the eye, bulging eyes, difficulty closing eyes and double vision. In extreme cases, vision loss may occur, notes Klapper Eyelid & Facial Plastic Surgery and Kellogg Eye Center. Surgery to fix drooping eyelids involves removing or lifting the sagging skin around the eye.