Diabetes Forecast

Aids for Insulin Users

By Erika Gebel, PhD ,

For some people, injecting insulin is no big deal. But that's not true for everyone. Problems with vision or dexterity—sometimes as a result of diabetic complications—can make handling syringes, vials, and insulin pens difficult. Anxiety about needles is another barrier, especially among children.

Fortunately, there are several products that are designed to help people with diabetes take their insulin. These items can make managing diabetes somewhat easier for those with special needs. Some aids, for example, help steady a vial of insulin so that it's easier to draw the liquid into a syringe. Others magnify the markings on a syringe or the display on an insulin pump screen to ensure that someone with poor vision can read them—and get the right amount of insulin.

The chart includes icons that show whether these aids help with vision or dexterity problems, or anxiety about using needles. (Some of the products can help with more than one issue and so have multiple icons on the chart in the link above.) Your doctor, nurse, or diabetes educator may also have useful advice about what aids would work best with your care regimen and even have sample products you can try out.

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