Role of Optometrists in Diabetic Management

Five years ago, I attended a lecture given by a prominent retinal surgeon. He made a remarkable statement, “If the optometrists do a good job today with diabetes patients, they will not see me for surgery in ten years.” I was awakened and puzzled with what he said. What can optometrists do?

I went home and studied everything that I could find about the role of optometrists in management of diabetes patients. After I did the research of literature, I concurred with him. Diabetes is number one cause of blindness for working age patients. Approximately 8 % of  the United States general population is diabetic.

If you take away the children, 10% of our patients are diabetic, and about 18 to 20% of senior citizens are diabetic. It is an epidemic for Hispanic, African American and American Indians. One out of two Hispanic woman are diabetic. In addition, many cases of diabetes is caused by obesity.

Most diabetic patients can be easily taken care of in our offices. There are five areas in which I counsel and educate my patients. The five areas I recommend are exercise, diet, medication, HbA1c and a support team. I will share these five areas in details with you in Vision Quest, and you can also share you management strategy with diabetic patients

See you in a few weeks!