5 reasons why all doctors should use AOA’s diabetes guideline
David Masihdas, O.D., co-chair of the AOA's Evidence-Based Optometry (EBO) Committee Diabetes Guideline Development Group, along with EBO Committee Chair Diane Adamczyk, O.D., helped develop the AOA's Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline: Eye Care of the Patient with Diabetes Mellitus, Second Edition.
Here are Dr. Masihdas' five takeaways for doctors of optometry from the updated clinical practice guideline.
- The urgency around the guideline is that millions of people worldwide have diabetes and the number is growing. The guideline provides recommendations on evidenced-based care provided by doctors of optometry that relies on timely diagnosis, intensive diabetes treatment and consistent, long-term follow-up evaluations for persons with diabetes. These steps are essential to effectively preserving vision and substantially slowing the risk of vision loss. The travesty is if we don't use it.
- The guideline informs the reader about the different classifications of diabetes, from type 1 to type 2 to gestational diabetes to diabetes due to monogenetic defects to prediabetes.
- It outlines the prevalence and risk factors for diabetes for each classification. A family history, obesity, age, hypertension and ethnic background are just some of the key risk factors for diabetes.
- The guideline provides a quick reference of the ETDRS (Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study), the DCCT (Diabetes Control and Complications Trial) and other significant research. If you want to know what those studies are, you go to the guideline and you'll find them. Every doctor of optometry should have this guideline in their practice.
- It reviews several treatment options, including methods to control glucose, lower lipids, reduce cardiovascular risk, plus diet modification and weight management. Medications are discussed. The challenge with discussing medications is that they change almost every day. But the guideline gives you a basis of what's out there, what the implications are, what the dosage is and how it affects diabetes.
As Americans grow older, the eyes show their age, too. The lens loses elasticity, causing a slow decline of accommodation. And patients, in a sense blindsided by this natural sign of aging, head to their doctor of optometry to help preserve their quality of life at work, home and play. Doctors of optometry are in a unique position to help patients preserve their quality of life and independence as presbyopia advances. Fortunately for patients and doctors, there have never been more options for managing presbyopia.
The American Diabetes Association® (ADA) reported, in time for National Diabetes Month in November, that total annual costs of diabetes in 2022 was $412.9 billion, most of it in direct medical costs. How can doctors of optometry help in the fight to lower the prevalence of diabetes?