AOA digital supplement offers insight on diabetes care

December 17, 2013

The American Optometric Association offers a digital supplement with information on an optometrist’s role in caring for a patient with diabetes.

St. Louis, MO-The American Optometric Association, with support from medical technology company Optos, has created a digital supplement to help optometrists care for patients with diabetes.

In the United States, 27 million people have diabetes, and 79 million more are pre-diabetic and are at high risk for developing the disease. Optometrists can have a major role in providing medical care for this growing patient population.

In the supplement, “Optometrists Form Front Line in Battling Diabetes,” panelists discuss a wide range of topics concerning patient care.

Topics include:

• In-office testing for hemoglobin levels

• The need for dilated exams and clear communication

• How ODs can better educate patients about their condition

“In some cases, optometrists aren’t just part of a care team; they’re the first practitioners to diagnose the disease in a patient. I find people with retinopathy but no previously documented medical problems,” said panelist Jeffry D. Gerson, OD, of Shawnee, KS. “You have to make sure that the person goes and gets tested, or you do the testing in your office and make sure they receive appropriate care. It’s important to realize that we’re not always just part of the diabetes care team, there to assess eye health after a diagnosis has already been made. Sometimes, we’re the quarterback because we’re the first member of their diabetes care team.”