AOA’s guidelines help ODs care for patients with diabetes

April 15, 2014

After more than 2 years of work, the American Optometric Association (AOA) has released Eye Care of the Patient with Diabetes Mellitus, an evidence-based guideline to help ODs care for patients with diabetes.

St. Louis, MO-After more than 2 years of work, the American Optometric Association (AOA) has released Eye Care of the Patient with Diabetes Mellitus guidelines to help ODs care for patients with diabetes.

As many as 40% of the nation's 27 million people with diabetes are unaware of their condition, and ODs are often the first practitioners to detect the telltale signs of the disease, according to the AOA. People with diabetes are at a significantly higher risk for developing eye diseases including glaucoma, cataracts, and diabetic retinopathy.

The AOA’s Evidence-Based Optometry (EBO) Committee was responsible for compiling the guideline. The team included optometrists, 2 MDs, a retinal specialist, an endocrinologist, a patient, and patient advocate. The doctor experts were representative of the healthcare team a patient with diabetes might see on a regular basis.

This resource will:

• Help ODs identify patients at risk for diabetes or vision loss from diabetes, as well as patients with undiagnosed diabetes.

• Help doctors save patients’ vision by aiding ODs in timely detection, intervention and determination for future evaluation, and appropriate patient referral.

• Educate both individuals and healthcare practitioners about the eye health complications that can arise from diabetes.

• Suggests improvements for the quality of care offered to individuals with diabetes.