Did you know that insulin plays a role in tear production? That’s why having diabetes increases your risk of dry eyes. Poor metabolic control, neuropathy and advanced retinopathy are also risk factors for dry eyes. Read on to learn more!
Here are some specific eye conditions that contribute to the development of dry eye syndrome:
- Neurotrophic corneas: These often develop due to diabetes. Because they occur as a result of nerve damage, they typically interrupt normal tear development pathways, which causes eye dryness.
- Hyperglycemia and insulin resistance: These conditions can result in neuropathy. Long-term diabetes can affect the corneal nerves as well as the lacrimal gland’s production of tears. Wearing contact lenses can exacerbate symptoms of dry eyes.
- Cytokines: Inflammation releases cytokines in the body. Cytokines are chemicals that can also damage tear-producing cells in the lacrimal gland and conjunctiva.
Treatments to Consider
Recent studies have linked decreased tear production to diabetes. Although there is no permanent cure for the condition, dry eyes can be alleviated in a number of ways. Common treatment options include:
- Intake of sufficient nutrients. Your eyeglasses doctor may suggest omega-3 fatty acids help with your dry eye management. Incorporate foods rich in this nutrient into your diet, such as salmon, tuna and mackerel. Vitamin A, B vitamins and zinc also assist in improving eye health.
- Artificial tears. Dry eye symptoms can be alleviated with artificial tears. Purchase preservative-free eye drops to avoid causing further irritation. Restasis is the only medication approved by the FDA to help increase tear production.
If you’re from Fairfax, Reston or Tysons Corner, VA, and are in need of an eye exam or eye care services, contact Vienna Eyecare Center via (571) 520-4232 to schedule an appointment or to request additional information about our services. We look forward to hearing from you.