Loss of Tear Glands Indicative of Higher HbA1c Levels
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Loss of meibomian glands in the lower eyelid, which is associated with dry eyes, was more common among patients with type 2 diabetes, especially those with higher HbA1c levels, a researcher reported.

Among 120 adults, the loss of meibomian glands -- observable on infrared imaging, and even with iPhone cameras, as thin striations beneath the lower eyelid -- was significantly more prevalent among patients with type 2 diabetes than those without.

Specifically, a significantly higher number of individuals with HbA1c levels above versus below a 6.0% HbA1c threshold had at least three-quarters of meibomian glands lost, researchers reported at the virtual ENDO 2020 meeting sponsored by the Endocrine Society.

And among patients with type 2 diabetes, a significantly higher number of patients with HbA1c levels above versus below the 6.5% threshold had experienced the loss of at least 40% of their meibomian glands.

It's a simple diagnostic way of looking at diabetes, Rural health clinics and community health centers can use this device ... to evaluate when people complain of dry eyes and have diabetes, and consider setting them up for more diabetic monitoring.

Loss of meibomian glands, as well as the lacrimal glands or glycoprotein inner layer made by the cornea, can cause dry eye and discomfort, researchers said. Available treatments include artificial tears, or, in severe cases, ophthalmic cyclosporine (Restasis) or lifitegrast (Xiidra).

Source: https://www.endocrine.org/news-and-advocacy/news-room/2020/loss-of-gland-in-eyelids-may-be-a-biomarker-for-elevated-blood-glucose-in-diabetes
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