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Diabetes and dry eyes

Diabète

Did you know that diabetes and dry eyes were two conditions that could be related? In this article, we explain everything you need to know about the link between diabetes and dry eyes.

 

The impact of diabetes on vision

 

Diabetes can have a significant impact on vision due to its effects on blood vessels and nerves in the eyes. High blood glucose levels associated with diabetes can damage the walls of blood vessels, including those that supply the eyes. Diabetes can therefore cause a variety of eye problems including:

 

  • Glaucoma: Diabetes can increase the risk of developing glaucoma, a condition that damages the optic nerve and can lead to peripheral vision loss and, in severe cases, total blindness. The risk of glaucoma is associated with increased intraocular pressure, which can result from swelling of the tissues in the eye caused by diabetes.
  • Cataract: A cataract is a clouding of the lens of the eye, which causes blurred vision and increased sensitivity to light. Although cataracts are not exclusively related to diabetes, people with diabetes tend to develop this condition at an earlier age and at a faster rate than people without diabetes.
  • Diabetic retinopathy: This is one of the most common and serious complications of diabetes. It occurs when the blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive part of the eye, are damaged. Diabetic retinopathy can lead to blindness.
  • Dry eyes: A person with diabetes is more likely to have dry eyes. Diabetes is one of the causes of dry eyes.
The link between diabetes and dry eyes

 

The link between diabetes and dry eyes is often unknown, but it is important to know. Diabetes can contribute to the development of dry eyes in several ways. First, high blood glucose levels associated with diabetes can disrupt the proper functioning of the lacrimal glands, which are responsible for the production of tears. When these glands do not work properly, it can lead to reduced tear production, which causes the eyes to feel dry and irritated.

 

In addition, people with diabetes are more likely to develop nerve problems, including peripheral nerve damage, called diabetic neuropathy. This nerve damage can affect the nerves that control tear production, which can also contribute to dry eyes.

 

There are also side effects related to medications. People with diabetes can be treated with certain medications that can also contribute to dry eyes as a side effect.

 

Some symptoms that may be experienced

 

  • A sensation of dry eyes, gritty eyes, burns, etc.
  • Excessive tearing or an absence of tears
  • Difficulties wearing contact lenses
  • Increased sensitivity to light, wind and/or smoke
  • Difficulty opening the eyes in the morning with eyelids stuck together
A few tips for limiting the risks

 

The first piece of advice we can give is to maintain good glycaemic control. This is because keeping blood glucose levels stable can help reduce the risk of diabetes-related complications, including dry eyes. It is advisable to carefully follow the treatment plan prescribed by your doctor and to monitor your blood sugar regularly.

 

Secondly, it is essential to have adequate hydration. Make sure you drink enough water throughout the day to maintain sufficient hydration, which can help prevent dry eyes.

 

Also avoid dry, windy or dusty environments that can worsen dry eyes. You can use an air humidifier in your home (in the main rooms) to maintain an optimal humidity level.

 

> For more advice on dry eyes and preventive actions, click here.

 

IF YOU ARE SUFFERING FROM DRY-EYE ISSUES, PLEASE SEE AN OPHTHALMOLOGIST.

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