Does Diabetes Cause Dry Eyes?
Dry eye syndrome (DES), also known as keratoconjunctivitis sicca, is one of the most commonly diagnosed eye conditions, and people with diabetes are at higher risk for this disorder. In fact, research shows that those of us with diabetes can have up to a 50 percent chance of suffering from dry eye. Dry eye syndrome is almost always a condition affecting both eyes. Symptoms include:
a scratchy sensation that feels like fine grains of sand are in the eyes,
burning, itching, blurred, or fluctuating vision,
increased watering of the eyes, despite the name dry eye syndrome.
What causes dry eye syndrome?
Did you know that tears consist of three layers?
Outer oil layer: Prevents evaporation from the surface of the eye.
Middle layer: Mostly made of water.
Inner mucus layer: Allows the middle, watery layer to adhere to the naturally water repellant surface of the eye.
People with dry eyes either don’t produce enough tears or their tears are of poor quality. An abnormality in any of these three layers can result in symptoms of dry eye, and effective treatment depends upon correctly diagnosing which layer(s) are causing the problem.
Most cases of dry eye are thought to be due to an insufficient amount of the middle, watery layer, which is normally released by a large tear gland (the lacrimal gland) under the rim of the upper and outer eye socket (some small, accessory tear glands are located within the eyelids as well).
Research shows that most cases of dry eye associated with diabetes are caused by insufficient production of tears due to autonomic ne Continue reading