Dry eyes are usually a sign you need to take a break from using your phone or computer. (While staring at a computer screen, you tend to blink less often. This increases the risk of dry eye because blinking is how a tear film—which helps keep your eyes moist—is spread across the surface of your eye.)
However, recent studies have shown that having diabetes mellitus increases your risk for dry eyes.
Lumen Optometric, your trusted eye exam doctor, explains how diabetes and dry eyes are connected and elaborate on the possible treatment options below:
How Diabetes and Dry Eyes Are Connected
Some medical researchers believe diabetic neuropathy can explain the connection between diabetes and dry eyes. Neuropathy happens when some of the nerves are damaged. It’s also a risk factor for lacrimal gland dysfunction. If the lacrimal gland (which secretes the watery component of the tear film) is damaged, tear production decreases. This, in turn, increases a patient’s risk for dry eyes.
Important: Diabetes is just one of several factors that can increase your risk for dry eyes. Other factors include age (it’s not uncommon for people aged over 65 to experience dry eyes) and environmental conditions (tears evaporate more quickly in dry climates).
If you have any of the aforementioned risk factors, you should undergo an eye exam at least once a year. Through routine eye exams, your eye doctor can detect and treat eye conditions before they progress or give higher prescriptions for contact lenses before blurry vision interferes with your daily routines.
How Are Dry Eyes Treated
Your eye doctor may recommend the following treatment options:
- Artificial tears – To alleviate the symptoms of mild or moderate dry eyes, you may need to apply artificial tears several times during the day.
- Eye inserts – An eye insert resembles a grain of rice and releases lubrication as it dissolves. It is placed between your lower eyelid and your eyeball.
To learn more about your treatment options, consult your local eye doctor.