Just as today's Diabetes Alert Day raises public awareness, the recent release of the AOA's comprehensive and rigorous resource, the Evidence-Based Clinical Practice Guideline: Eye Care of the Patient with Diabetes Mellitus, Second Edition, increases that alertness among doctors of optometry and other health professionals who deliver care to patients with diabetes.
When doctors of optometry diagnosed more than 401,000 cases of diabetic retinopathy in 2018, their patients had no idea they were pre-diabetic or diabetic. But the number of cases found by doctors reinforce their vital role in diabetic patients' care.
The AOA has recognized diabetes as a serious and growing public health issue for our nation, says Carl Urbanski, O.D., chair of the AOA Evidence-Based Optometry Committee, which undertook the rigorous review and update of the AOA's first diabetes guideline released five years ago.
"While we are currently in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, which we all hope will be short term, diabetes is a chronic condition that will continue to impact the lives of countless numbers of our patients," Urbanski says. "That recognition of the potentially devastating visual impact of diabetes and the critical role doctors of optometry play in diagnosing and preventing ocular complications is why AOA chose diabetes to be the first evidence-based guideline our committee developed and published.
"The new guideline is a valuable resource for optometrists and others to recognize the effects of diabetes and serves as a critical tool in everyday clinical practice to care for these patients," he adds. "We hope the guideline and its content will help doctors of optometry and other health care providers recognize the need to provide this critically important care to our patients and utilize the clinical recommendations when providing this care."
More evidence suggesting exercise might put a dent in the costs of drug treatment through prevention of such eye diseases as age-related macular degeneration.
Contact Lens Health Week, Aug. 17-21, is an opportunity to talk about safe handling.