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Can Diabetes Lead To Dry Eyes Syndrome?

Low insulin production due to diabetes could lead to a syndrome that can affect your eyes.

Written by Kinkini Gupta |Updated : December 31, 2022 6:01 PM IST

When the tears in our eyes are not able to lubricate our eyes properly, it could lead to conditions such as dry eye syndrome. The inadequacy and instability of tears could be for many reasons. Sometimes it could be due to the production of less tears or the production of poor-quality tears. This tear instability leads to inflammation and damage of the eye's surface. In some cases, the low production of tears could be due to diabetes.

Diabetes leads to an unbalanced production of insulin. When the body produces inadequate insulin, it could lead to decreased production of tears. When the glucose in the blood spikes, it could damage the nerves throughout our eyes. The damage could be in the lacrimal gland and nerves on the eyes clear window termed as the cornea. These nerves play a huge role for tears to stick to the front surface of our eye.

Signs And Symptoms Of Dry Eye Syndrome

Signs and symptoms, which usually affect both eyes, may include:

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  • A stinging, burning or scratchy sensation in your eyes
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Stringy mucus in or around your eyes
  • Eye redness
  • Difficulty wearing contact lenses
  • A sensation of having something in your eyes
  • Difficulty with nighttime driving
  • Blurred vision or eye fatigue
  • Watery eyes, which is the body's response to the irritation of dry eyes

Prevention Tips You Should Follow

Diabetes can cause dry eyes syndrome but, here are few ways you could prevent it.

  • Don't blow any kind of air directly into your eyes. Make sure you position hair dryers, air conditioners or car heaters away from your eyes.
  • Use a humidifier to increase the moisture in the air that surrounds you. Dry atmosphere is not good for your eyes especially if you a diabetes patient.
  • Protect your eyes when you are outside. Wear wraparound sunglasses or other eye-wears that can protect your eyes from dust, dry air, and hot air.
  • Make sure to give your eye a break during work. Don't sit in front of a screen for long without breaks. You can try some exercises like closing your eyes for a few minutes, looking at things around you at anything other than your laptop or phone screen and blinking more frequently. Blinking helps keep your eyes moist.
  • Be aware of your environment. The air at high altitudes, in desert areas and in airplanes can be extremely dry. When spending time in such an environment, it may be helpful to frequently close your eyes for a few minutes at a time to minimize evaporation of your tears.

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