Can Diabetes Cause Dry Eyes?

Can Diabetes Cause Dry Eyes?


Dry eyes is one of the many ocular problems associated with diabetes.


Chronic dry eyes, commonly known as dry eye syndrome or dry eye disease, can cause permanent eye damage and vision loss if not treated.


This article will discuss the link between dry eyes and diabetes, as well as the symptoms, treatment options, and what you can do to manage dry eye problems.


What's the link between diabetes and dryness of the eyes?

Dry eye syndrome is a typical side effect of diabetes, both type 1 and type 2. It occurs as a result of high blood sugar levels.


When your blood sugar is too high, it can harm your eyes' nerves, resulting in decreased tear production.


High blood sugar can also induce inflammation throughout the body. Your lacrimal glands — the glands in your eyes that create tears — have a tougher time functioning as a result of the inflammation.


If left untreated, dry eye can lead to the following:

  • eye pain
  • corneal scarring
  • vision loss


Dry eye syndrome can be reduced by controlling your blood sugar and keeping it within a healthy range.


While you work with a healthcare practitioner to manage your diabetes, eye drops and other therapies can help reduce dry eye symptoms and prevent problems.


What are the symptoms of dry eyes and how can you know if you have them?

Throughout the day, your eyes produce tears on a regular basis. When your eyes don't have enough tears to be hydrated and healthy, you have dry eye.


Healthy tear production is required for optimum eye function. Eye discomfort and a range of other eye symptoms might occur when your eyes don't produce enough tears.


  • redness
  • blurry vision
  • stinging or burning
  • a gritty sensation
  • discharge
  • trouble reading
  • trouble wearing contact lenses
  • sensitivity to wind or sun


Dry eye is sometimes a transient ailment that goes away on its own. When dry eye condition is not caused by diabetes, this may be the case. Your eyes may be dry as a result of spending time in a very dry or windy environment, or as a result of using your contact lenses for an extended period of time.


However, dry eyes caused by diabetes — or another underlying health problem — must be treated by a physician.


If you have dry eye symptoms that don't go away after a few days, it's a good idea to contact a doctor.


eye drops for dry eyes

the treatment for dry eyes is determined by the severity of your symptoms as well as your diabetes management strategy


many people who suffer from dry eyes as a result of diabetes discover that controlling their blood sugar levels helps to alleviate their symptom


while you attempt to bring your blood sugar levels under control, your healthcare provider may prescribe that you use artificial tears. they may also prescribe eye drops or recommend that you purchase an over-the-counter solution to help lubricate your eye

Other options for treating dry eye syndrome include:


  • Antibiotics. Antibiotics can help your eyes produce more tears by reducing inflammation in your eyelids. Antibiotic eye drops or oral antibiotics may be prescribed by your doctor.
  • Drops for the eyes. Inflammation can also be managed with eye drops containing the immune-suppressing drug cyclosporine (Restasis).
  • Corticosteroids. If you have significant eye inflammation, your doctor may prescribe corticosteroid eye drops. These eye drops will only be used for a limited period of time.
  • Medications that cause tears to flow freely. These drugs can aid in the production of more tears in your eyes. They come in a variety of forms, including eye drops, gels, and pills that you take orally.


Closing or blocking your tear ducts is a common practise. To assist keep tears in your eyes for longer, your tear ducts can be blocked off with tiny detachable collagen or silicone plugs. If a more permanent remedy is required, your tear ducts might be blocked with heat. These surgical therapies are normally reserved for when all other treatments have failed to alleviate dry eye symptoms.


Taking care of yourself if you have dry eyes

If you can't wait to visit a doctor about your dry eye, there are some things you may do on your own to assist relieve your symptoms. For example, you might want to:


  • Several times a day, use over-the-counter artificial tears
  • To help wet the interior air, utilise a humidifier.
  • Take a break from your computer, phone, tablet, or TV for a while.
  • For calming comfort, apply a warm compress to your eyes.
  • hydrate yourself with plenty of water – at least 8 glasses every day
  • Use a light baby shampoo to clean your eyelids.
  • stay away from cigarette smoke
  • If you're in a dry or windy location, wear wraparound sunglasses.


Is it possible for diabetes to develop additional eye problems?

Blood sugar levels that are too high can harm your eyes and cause vision loss. Diabetes, in addition to dry eye, can cause a variety of additional eye problems, including:


  • Diabetic retinopathy is a kind of retinopathy caused by diabetes. High blood sugar destroys the blood vessels in your retina, resulting in diabetic retinopathy. It has the potential to cause vision loss and blindness.
  • Diabetic macular edoema is a complication of diabetes (DME). Blurred vision is caused by DME. It happens when blood vessels in the macula, a portion of the retina, leak and produce edoema.
  • Cataracts. Cataracts are caused by proteins clumping together on your eye's lens, resulting in hazy, murky vision.
  • Glaucoma. The optic nerve in your eye is damaged by glaucoma. It normally begins slowly, with visual loss in your peripheral vision. If left untreated, it can eventually lead to blindness.


What else could cause your eyes to become dry?

Although diabetes is a common cause of dry eye, it isn't the only one. Your eyes could be dry for a variety of reasons.


The following are some more common causes of dry eye symptoms:


  • overuse of computer, TV, or phone screens living in a dry, windy, or smoky environment using contact lenses, especially if worn for longer than recommended surgery to correct vision
  • a few prescription eye drops
  • hormonal shifts
  • autoimmune diseases such as lupus, rheumatoid arthritis, and thyroid disorders
  • Certain prescription medications, such as antacids, antidepressants, and anxiety meds, as well as antihistamines and some allergy medications, and blood pressure medications, might accelerate the ageing process.


The Bottom Line

Blood sugar levels that are too high can make it difficult for your eyes to produce enough tears. If you have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, this can cause persistent dry eye.


Working with your doctor to develop a treatment plan that keeps your blood sugar levels under control is the best method to relieve dry eye caused by diabetes. While you work with your healthcare provider to regulate your diabetes, artificial tears and prescription eye drops can help reduce symptoms.


If your dry eye problems linger longer than a couple of days, consult your doctor or another healthcare professional.


If untreated, chronic dry eye caused by diabetes or another health condition can result in eye damage and possibly vision loss.


Diabetes patients should see an ophthalmologist at least once a year. Regular eye exams are critical for maintaining eye health.

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