AOA members lead the charge in the fight against diabetes.

4 tools, resources for diabetes care

November marks American Diabetes Month, an annual observance that brings attention to a disease that affects 29 million American adults and, more succinctly, the 25 percent of those who aren't aware of their condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention further estimate nearly 86 million Americans are considered prediabetic-high blood sugar but below type 2 threshold-with 90 percent unaware.

It's unsurprising then that many people learn of their diabetes risk through a dilated, comprehensive eye examination from their doctor of optometry. This window into a patient's health uncovers the minute vascular changes that signal diabetes, and reinforces the importance of regular, in-person eye care.

AOA members can take advantage of several tools and resources in the fight against diabetes:

  • Eye Care of the Patient with Diabetes Mellitus clinical practice guideline. The AOA's first evidence-based clinical practice guideline is posted to the National Guideline Clearinghouse, and was honored with the American Public Health Association's (APHA's) Vision Care Section Outstanding Scientific Paper (Project) Award in 2015. This guideline provides doctors with a vital resource in the detection and routine screening of people with diabetes, implementing cross-disciplinary evidence-based guidance that is the culmination of 2½ years of expert review. Click here to access a summary version of the guideline in a condensed, nine-page quick-reference guide.

  • Continuing education. EyeLearnTM, the AOA's member-exclusive centralized education platform, offers an online catalog of educational courses, webinars and resources to help expand clinical knowledge and practice management expertise for doctors and staff without ever leaving the comfort of their personal computer. EyeLearn was recently relaunched following a top-down revamp, with new features that improve accessibility.

  • Diabetic Retinopathy Chairside Tool. Developed by the AOA's Health Promotions Committee, the tool is designed for use by doctors of optometry to educate-and motivate-patients with diabetes. Both sides of the 8 ½-by-11-inch laminated card contain ultra-wide images of the progression of diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema. The doctor- and patient-friendly tool, made possible by the support of Optos, is available in AOA Marketplace.

  • Additional resources at AOA Marketplace and on the AOA's website. View more diabetes-related information on the AOA Diabetes & Eye Health web page, and search AOA Marketplace to find practice and patient information products, such as diabetes health cardsfact sheets and gallery prints.

Read about optometry's expanding role in diabetes care in the AOA Focus November/December 2016 article, "Eye Care in the Diabetes Age."

November 1, 2017

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