In 2021, the world celebrates the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, a treatment that transformed type 1 diabetes from a once-fatal diagnosis into a chronic, medically manageable condition. Sadly however, diabetes remains one of Canada’s most successful diseases. 100 years later even more Canadians have diabetes than ever before. The current number of people living with diabetes in Canada is approximately 3.3 million. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of the disease, accounting for 90% of cases. The prevalence of type 2 diabetes is increasing dramatically with current estimates confidently predicting a doubling of cases by 2025.
Over the past several decades, optometrists have moved from the sidelines into a more integral role when it comes to providing care for diabetes patients. Given optometrists’ position as frontline healthcare providers, our involvement in diabetes management should begin, not end, at a patient’s initial diagnosis. Optometrists have both the capacity and responsibility to increase patient awareness about the condition, facilitate early detection, and assist in disease management and treatment
What is the optometrist’s role in diabetes?
Your optometrist will be able to:
- Identify patients at risk of developing diabetic retinopathy
- Detect diabetic retinopathy early so that it can treated effectively. Early intervention results in a much better outcome for your eyes.
- Monitor patient’s eyes for any vision changes or progression of the condition
- Increase patient’s awareness and understanding of the disease
- Provide suitable referrals to specialists if needed
What can you do to protect your eyes?
- See your optometrist regularly to have your eyes tested. We recommend seeing your optometrist every year if you have diabetes. Sometimes damage to the eyes happens even before the diagnosis of diabetes. Changes can be detected early by regular eye exams, even before you see any difference in your vision.
- Control your blood-glucose level.
- If your vision has changed see your optometrist as early as possible to avoid any further damage.
Getting regular eye exams is part of your complete diabetes management. Book your appointment with an LMC Optometrist now!