Diabetes is the leading cause of vision loss for Americans under the age of 74, and doctors of optometry are dedicated to early diagnosis and timely treatment to prevent diabetes-related blindness. Doctors of optometry perform the majority of comprehensive, dilated eye examinations for people with diabetes in the United States and are well versed in the treatment and management of diabetic eye disease. In fact, in 2017, doctors of optometry diagnosed more than 401,000 cases of diabetic retinopathy in patients who did not even know they had diabetes. In addition, doctors of optometry are committed to educating their patients about ways of preventing and minimizing eye complications caused by diabetes, and routinely work with other health care professionals-including primary care physicians, endocrinologists, podiatrists, dental professionals, pharmacists and specialty eye surgeons to ensure patients receive the highest quality care, maintain good vision and live healthy lives.

In 2014, the Evidence-based Clinical Care Guideline: Eye Care of the Patient with Diabetes Mellitus was published, developed by the AOA Evidence-based Optometry Committee. This resource is markedly improving health care quality by ensuring patients are diagnosed and treated based on the best available scientific research. (Note: a second edition is anticipated in 2019.)  To access the guideline, click here or on the link to the right.  

The AOA hopes that these resources will help you in treating your patients with diabetes. In an effort to continue to providing resources to help our members in treating patients with diabetes, please contact us with questions, comments or suggestions for future resources.