5 reasons why all doctors should use AOA’s diabetes guideline

December 23, 2019
Millions of people worldwide have diabetes and the number is growing.
Measuring blood glucose

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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.
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