Did you know that over 50% of people with diabetes suffer from DES (dry eyes syndrome)? It’s a common and serious condition that isn’t talked about enough. DES can cause serious issues. Left untreated, it could eventually lead to blindness.
When talking about eye problems due to diabetes, diseases such as glaucoma, retinopathy, and cataracts are often discussed. Dry eyes can seem minor at first which is why it doesn’t get the attention it needs. In fact, many people credit dry eyes to other conditions instead of considering diabetes as the culprit. However, there is a clear connection between diabetes and DES.
Why Diabetes Causes Dry Eyes
When you have poorly controlled diabetes, you can suffer from dryness
all over your body. Having excess glucose in your blood stream
decreases circulation which can cause dryness. On top of that, the body
attempts to remove this excess glucose through frequent urination. In
order to do this, the body must pull fluid from cells, including the
eyes. This exacerbates the dryness issue.
creates dry eyes through reduced tear production. Tears are created by
lacrimal glands. These glands are sensitive to insulin levels. When
insulin levels are inadequate, tear production can be reduced. Diabetes
also causes the blood vessels in the eyes to restrict, which leads to
poor circulation and dryness.
Symptoms of Dry Eye Syndrome
It may seem that dry eyes is the main symptom of DES, but it’s not the only symptom. In fact, it’s possible to have an overproduction of tears as your body attempts (but ultimately fails) to lubricate your eyes. Some of the more common symptoms include:
- a burning or stinging sensation in your eyes
- blurry vision
- eye redness
- environmental sensitivity
- difficulty keeping eyes open due to the discomfort
- discomfort when wearing contact lenses
Artificial tears can help manage symptoms, but getting your diabetes under control is the best way to find relief from this.
Treating Dry Eye Syndrome That Comes from Diabetes
While there are artificial tears that can help relieve symptoms of DES, the underlying problem must be treated to truly relieve DES. This means you must get your diabetes under control. Working with a healthcare professional to get your A1C level down to less than 7 percent can give you the best chance of relieving this uncomfortable and dangerous condition.