Diabetes is associated with several eye-related problems, such as diabetic retinopathy, cataracts, and glaucoma. But few people know that we can also trace the roots of dry eye disease back to this health condition. In this article, we're discussing all there is to know about diabetes, how it can cause dry eyes, and how you can prevent it from happening.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a long-term medical condition in which your body fails to convert food into energy efficiently. It occurs when your pancreas can't produce the sufficient amount of insulin required to transform your blood glucose into energy. This raises your blood sugar levels and ultimately leads you to develop diabetes.
Who's at risk?
This disease has affected around 422 million people worldwide, and it causes approximately 1.6 million deaths annually. If you check off any of the following boxes, you might be at risk of getting diabetes as well.
- You have family members with diabetes.
- You are physically inactive.
- You are overweight or underweight.
- You often experience fatigue and weakness.
- You experience excessive urination.
Now that we've covered the basics of diabetes, let's look at how exactly it is responsible for causing dry eyes.
How does diabetes cause dry eyes?
Diabetes often restricts the blood circulation in your eye, resulting in damage to your optic nerves and muscles. Amongst the nerves at risk can be those that control your lacrimal glands, that is, the glands responsible for the production of your tears. If these glands fail to produce lacrimal fluid properly, your eyes will dry up and become irritated.
What to do if you have dry eyes because of diabetes?
Use artificial tear drops or ointments.
If you have been experiencing prolonged dry eye symptoms, your doctor might prescribe you artificial tear drops to use at least three to four times a day. You might also need to massage your eyelids with an ointment before going to sleep so that your eyes remain lubricated while you're asleep.
Maintaining a proper diet.
You'll also need to switch up your diet by increasing your intake of foods with omega-3 fatty acids, such as fatty fish, and nutritious foods, such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, and whole grains. If you find it challenging to add these changes to your plate, you can always take supplements to improve your nutrition and eye health.
Take proper care of your eyelids.
A great way to counter dry eyes is to regularly clean your eyelids using warm water and light soap, such as baby shampoo. This can help prevent inflammation of the eyelids, and it washes away any bacteria or crust that may have built up along your lash line.
Keep in mind
If you're someone who is in constant discomfort because of dry eyes, we highly recommend that you visit your eye doctor for an eye examination. Here at Eye Care Superior, we have clinics in Houston, The Woodlands, and Spring in Texas, providing the finest eye care services within the area. So please drop by and let us solve all your eye-related problems and concerns.