Systemic management of diabetes: the risk of losing vision from diabetes is directly related to systemic management

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A. Paul Chous, OD, discusses his presentation, “Current treatment of diabetes" during the AOA's Optometry Meeting.

Optometry Times'® Kassi Jackson speaks with Paul Chous, OD, medical director of Chous EyeCare Associates in Washington State, about his presentation, “Current treatment of diabetes,” during the 2022 American Optometric Association’s (AOA) annual meeting in Chicago.

His talk discusses the current management of diabetes — not just blood glucose levels, but also all of the other comorbidities that go hand-in-hand with diabetes like hypertension, management of dyslipidemia, and the like.

"More than half of patients actually are now in the United States on suboptimal medications for their various diabetes comorbidities," Chous said. "And so I think it's something that as optometrists, if we have good familiarity with, it can really help our patients get better care."

"Anything that we can do to help keep our patients alive and functioning better is also, of course, going to be good for their eyes." - Paul Chous, OD

Key takeaways:

  • Optometrists can critically appraise the diabetes treatment plan, make suggestions directly to the patient — but also to their primary care physician — about optimizing management of diabetes.
  • There are drugs that not only protect the heart, but some of them are being shown to be retino-protective, so actually lowering the risk of developing diabetic retinopathy, or at least severe diabetic retinopathy.
  • Those in optometry really can serve an important role on the diabetes care team.