Thank you for your question about eye irritation. It is difficult to answer your question without a more detailed description of your symptoms, so it is important for you to visit your primary care physician
. There could be countless reasons for your feeling of eye irritation; therefore it is very important that you visit an ophthalmologist
to discuss your symptoms more fully and undergo an eye examination. I will speak about one possible cause for eye irritation. Dry eyes (keratitis sicca) is the most common eye disease affecting the population. It is caused by either a decreased production in tears or because the tears that you make evaporate from the eye too quickly. A person with dry eyes could have a number of abnormal sensations in the eye such as dryness, grittiness, sand paper feeling, itchiness, scratchiness, or tiredness. Please see your ophthalmologist who can easily diagnose this during an examination. You asked specifically about diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy, or damage to the retina (back of the eye) due to diabetes, is usually a very late manifestation of uncontrolled diabetes. High sugar in the body from diabetes damages small vessels in the retina and causes them to become leaky. Eventually new, abnormal vessels start to form to replace the damaged ones, but these are weak and prone to bleeding
. When diabetic retinopathy is present, visual changes may go unnoticed for some time. When vision does become compromised at late stages, your vision will be blurry, especially your central vision. Diabetic retinopathy is unlikely to be the first sign of undiagnosed diabetes. Again, I would encourage you to visit your primary care physician to have your blood glucose measured.