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Influence of diabetes mellitus on anterior segment of the eye

Authors Han SB, Yang HK, Hyon JY

Received 12 October 2018

Accepted for publication 7 December 2018

Published 27 December 2018 Volume 2019:14 Pages 53—63

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/CIA.S190713

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Ms Justinn Cochran

Peer reviewer comments 4

Editor who approved publication: Dr Richard Walker


Sang Beom Han,1 Hee Kyung Yang,2 Joon Young Hyon2

1Department of Ophthalmology, School of Medicine, Kangwon National University, Kangwon National University Hospital, Chuncheon, Korea; 2Department of Ophthalmology, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea

Abstract: Diabetes mellitus (DM) has been emerging as one of the most serious health problems worldwide. Ocular complications of DM are currently one of the major causes of blindness in developed countries, among which diabetic retinopathy is relatively well studied and understood. However, although ocular surface complications of DM are common, diabetic complications of anterior segment of the eye, such as, cornea, conjunctiva, and lacrimal glands, are often overlooked. DM is associated with progressive damage to corneal nerves and epithelial cells, which increases the risk of anterior segment disorders including dry eye disease, corneal erosion, persistent epithelial defects, and even sight-threatening corneal ulcer. In this review, the authors will discuss the association of DM with disorders of anterior segment of the eye. Studies indicating the value of corneal nerve assessment as a sensitive, noninvasive, and repeatable biomarker for diabetic neuropathy will also be introduced. In addition, treatment modalities of anterior segment disorders associated with DM is discussed. The studies introduced in this review suggest that early and periodic screening of the anterior segment of the eye, as well as the retina, is important for the optimal treatment of DM.

Keywords: anterior segment disease, corneal neuropathy, diabetes mellitus, dry eye disease, ocular surface disease, keratopathy

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