This study compares tear glucose dynamic differences between 121 diabetic and nondiabetic subjects after the administration of a carbohydrate load. A quantitative chromatographic analysis of tear glucose was used and the values correlated to blood glucose values. Diabetic and nondiabetic tear glucose mean values were 0.35 +/- 0.04 mmol/L and 0.16 +/- 0.03 mmol/L, respectively. Significant differences were observed among the subject groups in both the tear and capillary blood glucose values. A correlation between tear glucose and capillary blood glucose was observed. The concentration of glucose in the tear fluid changes proportionately with respect to capillary blood glucose after a carbohydrate challenge. Although it is possible to determine the diabetic status of a subject using tear glucose values alone, in the clinical setting this may not prove to be practical due to technical limitations.