Ocular surface changes in patients treated with oral antidiabetic drugs or insulin

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Purpose:To describe and compare ocular surface changes in patients with type 2 diabetes treated with either oral antidiabetic drugs (OAD) or insulin.Methods:Forty eyes of 20 patients treated with OAD, 40 eyes of 20 patients treated with insulin, and 10 nondiabetic controls seen at Ministry of Health Ankara Educational and Research Hospital, 1st Eye Clinic, were studied. All subjects underwent routine ophthalmic examinations, Schirmer test, tear film break-up time analysis, and conjunctival impression cytologic analysis. Patients treated with OAD or insulin and a control group were compared for tear function parameters, goblet cell density, and squamous metaplasia grade. The relation between status of retinopathy and ocular surface disorder and serum HbA1c levels of diabetic patients were also noted.Results:The tear film break-up time values were significantly lower in patients treated with OAD (p<0.05). There was no statistically significant difference in Schirmer test results of the 3 groups. Goblet cell density and squamous metaplasia grade were similar in all groups. The median grade was grade 1, in which epithelial cells are slightly larger, more polygonal, have eosinophilic staining cytoplasm, and goblet cells are decreased in number. Status of retinopathy did not seem to relate to ocular surface disorder. The serum HbA1c level of diabetic patients treated with insulin or OAD was similar (p>0.05).Conclusions:Precorneal tear film stability was worse in patients treated with OAD; however, impression cytology analysis and Schirmer test results were similar in all groups.

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