Diabetes-related Dry Eye Syndrome Prevalence and Risk

Diabetic Dry Eye Syndrome Prevalence and Risk

People with type 1 or type 2 diabetes are at an increased risk for developing Lacrimal Functional Unit dysfunction 2 . Diabetes is one of the leading systemic risk factors for Dry Eye Syndrome (DES). The reported prevalence of DES in people living with diabetes is 15–33% in those over 65 years of age and increases with age, and is 50% more common in women than in men. The incidence of dry eye is correlated with the level of glycated haemoglobin (average level of blood glucose) : the higher the level of glycated hemoglobin, the higher the incidence of dry eye 3. 

Risk Factors for Diabetic DES 3

  • Chronic hyperglycemia (high blood glucose)
  • Diabetes-related periphery neuropathy (leading to numbness, loss of sensation in the feet or hand and sometimes associated with pain)
  • Decreased insulin levels
  • Microvasculopathy (disease of the small blood vessels such as those in the retina), and
  • Systemic hyperosmotic disturbances (water imbalance in the cells of the body often due to the associated severe dehydration)