DME treatment may be evolving from a laser ablative approach into a pharmacotherapeutic approach. The exponential growth that has occurred over the past decade in the retinal pharmacotherapy field has led to the development of several pharmacotherapies for retinal vascular diseases including DME, such as pegaptanib (Macugen, Bausch + Lomb), bevacizumab (Avastin, Genentch), ranibizumab (Lucentis, Genentech) and aflibercept (Eylea, Regeneron). Many of these agents, in the form of intravitreal injections or sustained delivery devices, have already undergone clinical trial testing for safety and efficacy and others, such as avacincaptad (Zimura, Ophthotech) are currently being evaluated.
Gestational diabetes is a type of diabetes that is first seen in a pregnant woman who did not have diabetes before she was pregnant. Gestational diabetes usually manifests itself in the middle of a pregnancy. Doctors test for it between 24 and 28 weeks of pregnancy.
Women who have had gestational diabetes have a 35 percent to 60 percent chance of developing T2DM in the next 10 to 20 years.
Updated criteria for diagnosing gestational diabetes will increase the proportion of women diagnosed with gestational diabetes. Using these criteria, an international, multicenter study of gestational diabetes found that 18 percent of the pregnancies were affected by gestational diabetes.12
Gestational diabetes may be an independent risk factor for cataracts later in life, although the risks are greatest for women who subsequently develop T2DM.
The number of people with DM is increasing,13 and cataracts are one of the most common causes of visual impairment in these patients.14
The incidence of cataracts in insulin-dependent, non–insulin-treated, and insulin-treated non-insulin-dependent diabetics were 7.1, 11.7, and 17.8 per 1000 person-years, respectively. Cataract was four times more common in diabetics and twice more frequent in men.15
It was found that the risks for cortical cataracts (CC) and posterior subcapsular cataracts (PSC) were elevated for patients with T2DM.14
Advances in cataract surgical techniques and instrumentation have improved outcomes; however, surgery may not be safe and effective in certain individuals with pre-existing retinal pathology or limited visual potential, according to the Wisconsin Epidemiologic Study of Diabetic Retinopathy.16
The relationship between diabetes and open-angle glaucoma (the most common type of glaucoma), has intrigued researchers for years. People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop glaucoma as are non-diabetics, although current research is beginning to call this into question.17
Neovascular glaucoma, a rare type of glaucoma, is always associated with other abnormalities, diabetes being the most common. Neovascular glaucoma can occur if these new blood vessels grow on the iris close off the fluid flow in the eye and raise intraocular pressure (IOP).17
Patients with DM have an increased risk of dry eye. The diabetic patient has decreased tear break-up time, Schirmer’s test values, and corneal sensitivity as well as increased fluorescein and lissamine green staining.18,19
In diabetes, damage to the microvasculature feeding the lacrimal gland together with autonomic neuropathy of the lacrimal gland—both of which occur early in the course of diabetes—may contribute to impaired function of the gland.20
Sorbitol accumulation within cells can lead to cellular edema and dysfunction, which causes lacrimal gland damage and dysfunction and decreased tear secretion.21
Decreased corneal sensitivity is a clinical manifestation of diabetic keratoplasty. Furthermore, reduced corneal sensation can also lead to a reduced blink rate and increased tear evaporation.22 These potential mechanisms induce DED in diabetic patients.
Diabetes and eye care
A comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist or ophthalmologist annually or biannually at minimum to identify changes in the blood vessels of the retina is recommended for persons with diabetes.8
The number of patients with DM is increasing, and the need for proper diabetic eyecare will only escalate in the future. This situation presents an opportunity for optometrists to serve as primary eyecare providers for these patients. Optometrists need to be proactive in keeping up with new technology and treatment so they can serve these patients with the most up-to-date options.
1. Pascolini D, Mariotti SP. Global estimates of visual impairment: 2010. Br J Ophthalmol. 2012 May;96(5):614-8.
2. Sivaprasad S, Gupta B, Crosby-Nwaobi R, Evans J. Prevalence of diabetic retinopathy in various ethnic groups: a worldwide perspective. Surv Ophthalmol. 2012 Jul-Aug;57(4):347-70.
3. Yau JW, Rogers SL, Kawasaki R, Lamoureux EL, Kowalski JW, Bek T, Chen SJ, Dekker JM, Fletcher A, Grauslund J, Haffner S, Hamman RF, Ikram MK, Kayama T, Klein BE, Klein R, Krishnaiah S, Mayurasakorn K, O'Hare JP, Orchard TJ, Porta M, Rema M, Roy MS, Sharma T, Shaw J, Taylor H, Tielsch JM, Varma R, Wang JJ, Wang N, West S, Xu L, Yasuda M, Zhang X, Mitchell P, Wong TY; Meta-Analysis for Eye Disease (META-EYE) Study Group. Global prevalence and major risk factors of diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes Care. 2012 Mar;35(3):556-64.
4. Meo SA. Prevalence and future prediction of type 2 diabetes mellitus in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia: A systemic review of published studies. J Pak Med Assoc. 2016 Jun;66(6):722-5.
5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Common Eye Diseases. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/visionhealth/basics/ced. Accessed 05/16/18.
6. Ferris F. Early photocoagulation in patients with either type I or type II diabetes. Trans Am Ophthalmol Soc. 1996;94:505–537.
7. Murphy RP. Management of diabetic retinopathy. Am Fam Physician. 1995 Mar;51(4):785-96.
8. American Optometric Association. Evidence-based Clinical Practice Guideline: Eye Care for the Patient with Diabetes Mellitus. Available at: https://www.aoa.org/optometrists/tools-and-resources/evidence-based-opto.... Accessed 05/16/18.
9. Abcouwer SF, Gardner TW. Diabetic retinopathy: loss of neuroretinal adaptation to the diabetic metabolic environment. Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2014 Apr;1311:174-90.
10. Early Treatment Diabetic Retinopathy Study Research Group. Photocoagulation for diabetic macular edema. ETDRS Report No.4. Int Ophthalmol Clin. 1987 Winter;27(4):265-72.
11. Wilkinson CP, Ferris FL 3rd, Klein RE, Lee PP, Agardh CD, Davis M, Dills D, Kampik A, Pararajasegaram R, Verdaguer JT; Global Diabetic Retinopathy Project Group. Proposed international clinical diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular edema disease severity scales. Ophthalmology. 2003 Sep;110(9):1677-82
12. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Fact Sheet, 2011. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/pubs/pdf/ndfs_2011.pdf. Accessed 5/11/18.
13. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. National Diabetes Statistics Report. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/data/statistics/statistics-report.html. Accessed 05/16/18.
14. Li L, Wan XH, Zhao GH. Meta-analysis of the risk of cataract in type 2 diabetes. 2014 Jul 24;14:94.
15. Memon AF, Mahar PS, Memon MS, Mumtaz SN, Shaikh SA, Fahim MF. Age-related cataract and its types in patients with and without type 2 diabetes mellitus: A Hospital-based comparative study. J Pak Med Assoc. 2016 Oct;66(10):1272-1276.
16. Pollreisz A, Schmidt-Erfurth U. Diabetic cataract-pathogenesis, epidemiology and treatment. J Ophthalmol. 2010;2010:608751..
17. Glaucoma Research Foundation. Diabetes and Your Eyesight. Available at: www.glaucoma.org/glaucoma/diabetes-and-your-eyesight.php. Accessed 05/16/18.
18. Fuerst N, Langelier N, Massaro-Giordano M, Pistilli M, Stasi K, Burns C, Cardillo S, Bunya VY. Tear osmolarity and dry eye symptoms in diabetics. Clin Ophthalmol. 2014 Mar 10;8:507-15.
19. Figueroa-Ortiz LC, Jiménez Rodríguez E, García-Ben A, García-Campos J. Study of tear function and the conjunctival surface in diabetic patients. Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol. 2011 Apr;86(4):107-12.
20. Dogru M, Katakami C, Inoue M. Tear function and ocular surface changes in noninsulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Ophthalmology. 2001 Mar;108(3):586-92.
21. Ramos-Remus C, Suarez-Almazor M, Russell AS. Low tear production in patients with diabetes mellitus is not due to Sjögren’s syndrome. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 1994 Jul-Aug;12(4):375-80.
22. Inoue K, Okugawa K, Amano S, Oshika T, Takamura E, Egami F, Umizu G, Aikawa K, Kato S. Blinking and superficial punctuate keratopathy in patients with diabetes mellitus. Eye (Lond). 2005 Apr;19(4):418-21.
23. World Health Organization. Prevention of Blindness from Diabetes Mellitus. Available at: http://www.who.int/blindness/Prevention%20of%20Blindness%20from%20Diabet.... Accessed 5/11/18.
24. Shaw JE, Sicree RA, Zimmet PZ. Global estimates of the prevalence of diabetes for 2010 and 2030. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2010 Jan;87(1):4-14.
25. American Diabetes Association. Standards of medical care in diabetes—2015. Diabetes Care. 2015 Jan;38 Suppl:S4.
26. Villarroel MA, Vahratian A, Ward BW. Healthcare utilization among adults with diagnosed diabetes. National Center for Health Statistics. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db183.htm. Accessed 5/11/18.
27. American Diabetes Association. The Cost of Diabetes. Available at: http://www.diabetes.org/advocacy/news-events/cost-of-diabetes.html. Accessed
28. The Expert Committee on the Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus. Report of the Expert Committee on the Diagnosis and Classification of Diabetes Mellitus. Diabetes Care. 2003 Jan;26 Suppl 1:S5-20.
29. Villarroel MA, Vahratian A, Ward BW. Any Visit to the Eye Doctor in the Past 12 Months Among Adults Diagnosed With Diabetes, by Years Since Diabetes Diagnosis and by Age: United States, 2012-2013. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hestat/eye_doctor/visit_to_eye_doctor.htm. Accessed 05/17/18.