Keeping an Eye on Your Diabetes

On March 1, the American Academy of Ophthalmology reported that more than one third of people with diabetes do not adhere to vision care guidelines established by both the Academy and the American Diabetes Association.

In a study conducted by the Department of Preventive Medicine at the University Medical Center at Stony Brook, New York, researchers asked 2,308 people with diabetes if they had a yearly dilated eye examination. Eight hundred thirteen study participants (35 percent) reported they had not received dilated eye examinations in the year prior to the study interview.

Researchers said factors affecting whether or not patients with diabetes received dilated eye examinations included:

  • Physician Referrals: Patients were more likely to have regular eye examinations when recommended by their physicians.
  • Type of Eye Care Professional: Patients who were examined by ophthalmologists were more likely to have a dilated eye examination than those examined by optometrists.
  • Age: Older patients were more likely to follow the guidelines than younger patients.
  • Education: Patients who participated in formal diabetes-education programs were more likely to adhere to the vision care guidelines.

In another finding, people with type 1 diabetes were more likely to have annual dilated eye examinations than those with type 2.

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