There are a number of eye problems linked to diabetes, among which is dry eyes. This may sound like a minor inconvenience, however chronic dry eyes, also referred to as dry eye syndrome or dry eye disease, can bring about irreversible eye damages and also vision loss if it’s not treated. This article will look at the connection between dry eyes and also diabetes, the symptoms, treatment, and also what you can do to take care of dry eye issues.
What’s The Connection Between Diabetes And Dry Eyes?
Dry eye syndrome is an usual issue of both type 1 and also type 2 diabetes. It happens due to high blood sugars.
When your blood sugar is high, it can cause nerve damage in your eyes which, consequently, can result in reduced tear production.
Furthermore, high blood sugar can cause inflammation throughout your body. This inflammation makes it harder for your lacrimal glands — the glands in your eyes that generate tears — to function.
Over time, if left neglected, dry eye might result in:
- eye pain
- corneal scarring
- vision loss
Thankfully, managing your blood sugar as well as maintaining it within a healthy array can lower your danger of dry eye syndrome.
Eye drops and also other treatments can additionally assist ease dry eye symptoms and avoid issues while you work with a healthcare expert to handle your diabetes.
What Are The Telltale Symptoms of Dry Eyes?
Your eyes generate tears constantly throughout the day. Dry eye happens when your eyes do not have the tears they need to stay moisturized and also healthy.
Your eyes can not function correctly without healthy tear production. When your eyes do not generate sufficient tears, it can cause eye irritation and also a selection of other eye symptoms, such as:
- blurry vision
- stinging or burning
- a gritty sensation
- trouble reading
- trouble wearing contact lenses
- sensitivity to wind or sun
Occasionally, dry eye can be a short-term condition that goes away by itself. This can be the case when dry eye syndrome is not caused by diabetes. For instance, your eyes may be dry because you hung out in an extremely dry or windy setting, or because you wore your contact lenses for as well long.
However, dry eyes triggered by diabetes — or an additional underlying health and wellness issue — will require to be addressed by a physician.
It’s an excellent idea to see a healthcare expert if you experience dry eye symptoms that do not clear up after a couple of days.
Treatment For Dry Eyes
The treatment for dry eyes will depend upon exactly how extreme your symptoms are as well as on your total diabetes management strategy.
Lots of people with dry eyes caused by diabetes locate that handling their blood sugar levels can assist settle dry eye symptoms.
Your healthcare specialist might recommend that you use synthetic tears while you work to obtain your blood sugar levels to a well-managed area. They may additionally suggest eye drops or advise you to buy a certain over-the-counter item that can help lubricate your eyes.
Various other treatment alternatives for dry eye syndrome might include:
- Antibiotics. Antibiotics can reduce the inflammation in your eyelids and also help your eyes produce more tears. Your doctor may prescribe oral antibiotics or antibiotic eye drops.
- Eye drops. Eye drops consisting of the immune-suppressing medication cyclosporine (Restasis) can additionally aid manage inflammation.
- Corticosteroids. Your doctor may suggest corticosteroid eye drops if you have extreme eye swelling. You’ll only use these eye drops for a short time.
- Tear boosting medications. These medications can assist your eyes produce more tears. They’re available in different types, consisting of eye drops as well as gels, along with tablets that you take orally.
- Closing or plugging your tear ducts. Your tear ducts can be blocked with tiny removable collagen or silicone plugs to help maintain tears in your eyes for longer. Your tear ducts can likewise be plugged using warm if a more permanent option is needed. These surgical treatments are usually just an alternative if all other sorts of treatment fail to help reduce dry eye symptoms.
Self-care For Dry Eyes
If you’re waiting to see a doctor for your dry eye condition, there are some actions you can tackle your own to assist reduce your dry eye symptoms. For instance, you may intend to:
- use over-the-counter fabricated tears a number of times a day
- use a humidifier to assist moisten the indoor air
- take a break from computer, phone, tablet, or TV screens
- attempt a warm compress on your eyes for relaxing alleviation
- drink a lot of water — at the very least 8 glasses a day
- wash your eyelids with mild infant shampoo
- steer clear of from smoke
- wear wraparound sunglasses if you’re in dry or windy settings
Can Diabetes Cause Other Eye Issues?
High blood sugar levels can affect your eyes and also cause damage to your vision. Besides dry eye, diabetes can cause several various other eye issues, such as:
- Diabetic retinopathy. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when high blood sugar damages the blood vessels in your retina. It can result in vision loss as well as blindness.
- Diabetic macular edema (DME). DME causes blurry vision. It occurs when the blood vessels in a part of the retina — referred to as the macula — leakage and cause swelling.
- Cataracts. Cataracts are triggered by healthy proteins that glob together over the lens of your eye, causing blurry, cloudy vision.
- Glaucoma. Glaucoma damages the optic nerve in your eye. It begins gradually, usually causing vision loss in your perimeter vision. If left neglected, it can cause blindness gradually.
What Else Can Cause Dry Eyes?
Diabetes is a common cause of dry eye, but it’s not the only feasible cause. There are numerous reasons your eyes may be dry.
Other typical causes of dry eye symptoms consist of:
- overuse of computer, TV, or phone screens
- staying in a dry, windy, or smoky atmosphere
- wearing contact lens, particularly if you wear them for longer than you must
- having restorative vision surgery
- some topical eye medications
- hormone changes
- autoimmune conditions, consisting of lupus, rheumatoid joint inflammation, and some thyroid problems
- particular prescription medications consisting of antacids, antidepressants and also anxiety medications, antihistamines as well as some allergy medications, and blood pressure medications
The Bottom Line
High blood sugar can make it hard for your eyes to create enough tears. This can bring about chronic dry eye if you have either type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
The most effective means to resolve dry eye caused by diabetes is to work with your physician to develop a treatment strategy that keeps your blood sugar degrees well managed. Man-made tears and also prescription eye drops can aid ease symptoms while you work with your healthcare specialist to manage your diabetes.
Talk with your physician — or an additional healthcare professional — if you establish dry eye symptoms that last for greater than a couple of days. Chronic dry eye that’s caused by diabetes, or by an additional health and wellness problem, can cause eye damage and even vision loss if it’s not treated.
Individuals who have diabetes need to see their eye doctor at least once per year. Normal eye exams are very important for protecting your eye health.