SPECIAL ARTICLE The Role of the Ophthalmologist Roy W. Beck, MD, PhD ith the recent increases and future projected increases in the incidence of type 2 diabetes mellitus and with the incidence increasing in teenagers and young adults, the already substantial public health effect of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy W will become greater in years to come. Despite the strength of the evidence that optimizing control of glucose, blood pressure, and lipid levels will reduce the incidence and pro- gression of diabetic retinopathy, metabolic control remains suboptimal for many patients with dia- betes. In addition, many patients do not follow recommended guidelines for regular eye examina- tions, which is unfortunate because there is good evidence that with regular follow-up and intervention with photocoagulation as indicated, severe vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is uncommon. Yet, diabetic retinopathy is a leading cause of severe vision loss in adults. The current health care system too often fails to adequately manage diabetes and is lacking in providing proper education and motivation for patients to optimize their metabolic control. In addition to treating retinopa- thy, ophthalmologists can play an important role in educating and motivating patients to achieve better metabolic control, which, if successful,
JAMA Ophthalmology – American Medical Association
Published: Feb 1, 2011
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