Horizon Therapeutics plc Launches New Online Community Connecting People Living with Thyroid Eye Disease and Urging them to “Listen to Your Eyes”

Nov 21, 2019 08:00 am
DUBLIN -- 

Horizon Therapeutics plc (Nasdaq: HZNP) today announced the launch of “Listen to Your Eyes,” a new website and Facebook community designed to provide education and support for people who are living with thyroid eye disease (TED) – a rare, serious, progressive and vision-threatening autoimmune disease.1,2 It was created with guidance from the TED community to help others learn about TED, connect with one another and get inspired to advocate for their eye health.

“It's a really lonely feeling when you have a rare illness that nobody understands,” said Susie W., who lives with TED. “Because the pain that is caused by TED is so intense, and you’re hurting all of the time, you can’t think straight. Plus, your vision is being affected, which is very scary, and you’re being robbed of your looks and your self-esteem. It’s all very emotional and as a result, you tend to shut yourself off from the world. I’m excited about this new community because I think it will help people better understand TED and feel less alone.”

The “Listen to Your Eyes” website (www.ThyroidEyes.com) provides key facts about TED, tips for spotting the signs and symptoms and tools for having a productive conversation with a healthcare provider. The accompanying Facebook community features real-life stories and advice from people who are living with TED, including the symptoms they experience, where they turn to for support and how they remain hopeful in spite of it all.

“It is such a joy to be a part of this new ‘Listen to Your Eyes’ community,” said Allan H., who is part of a council of people living with TED who provided insight and direction on the “Listen to Your Eyes” initiative. “I’m sharing my experience to help motivate others who are living with TED to advocate for themselves and get the support and care that they deserve. Living with this disease is not easy, but surrounding yourself with people who truly understand what you’re going through and are committed to lifting you up, can make a big difference and help you stay positive as you continue to push forward.”

TED is an autoimmune disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack the area behind the eyes. TED is most often seen in patients with Graves’ disease, but can also occur in Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism or even in euthyroid patients. Common symptoms include light sensitivity, eye grittiness, bulging eyes and double vision, among others – all of which can reduce a person’s independence, ability to work and self-confidence.1,3 As TED progresses, it can cause long-term, irreversible damage. Effective management of TED requires early diagnosis and active monitoring to identify the best opportunity for medical intervention.1 Patients who suspect that they may have TED should visit an eye specialist, such as an ophthalmologist or oculoplastic surgeon, to have their eyes examined.

“We know that recognizing the signs and symptoms of TED early can help decrease the chances of permanent damage to the eyes and surrounding tissues,” said Keli Walbert, vice president, ophthalmology, Horizon. “Unfortunately, TED is not well known or understood. We created this initiative to help fill that void and get patients the information and support they need to make informed decisions about their eye health – before it’s too late. This includes paying attention to changes in their appearance and vision, then visiting an eye care professional at the first signs of change.”

For more information, please visit www.ThyroidEyes.com and https://www.facebook.com/ThyroidEyes/.

About Horizon

Horizon is focused on researching, developing and commercializing medicines that address critical needs for people impacted by rare and rheumatic diseases. Our pipeline is purposeful: we apply scientific expertise and courage to bring clinically meaningful therapies to patients. We believe science and compassion must work together to transform lives. For more information on how we go to incredible lengths to impact lives, please visit www.horizontherapeutics.com, follow us @HorizonNews on Twitter, like us on Facebook or explore career opportunities on LinkedIn.

References

  1. Barrio-Barrio J, Sabater AL, Bonet-Farriol E, Velazquez-Villoria A, Galofre JC. Graves’ Ophthalmopathy: VISA versus EUGOGO Classification, Assessment, and Management. Journal of Ophthalmology. 2015:1-16.
  2. Bartalena L, Baldeschi L, Boboridis K, Eckstein A, Kahaly GJ, Marcocci C, Perros P, Salvi M, Wiersinga WM. The 2016 European Thyroid Association/European Group on Graves' Orbitopathy Guidelines for the Management of Graves' Orbitopathy. European Thyroid Journal. 2016;5:9-26.
  3. Ponto KA, Pitz S, Pfeiffer N, Hommel G, Weber MM, Kahaly GJ. Quality of Life and Occupational Disability in Endocrine Orbitopathy. Dtsch Arztebl Int. 2009;106:283-299.

 

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