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Improving the Identification and Care of Patients With Diabetic Retinopathy – A Clinical Exchange Program for Optometrists

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FORMAT: Online activity

MAXIMUM CREDITS: COPE approved for 1.0 CE credit for optometrists.


By 2030, approximately half of all Americans will have diabetes (55 million) or prediabetes (108 million), and approximately half of those will have some form of diabetic retinopathy (DR). Early recognition of DR by optometrists often precedes a diagnosis of diabetes and is critical for the preservation of sight in affected patients. Recognition of risk factors for diabetes can enable early identification of patients at high risk for DR. Staging criteria for DR have been developed to inform a decision on when to refer patients to a retina specialist vs when patients can be safely managed in the optometry practice. Recently completed clinical trials have led to a US Food and Drug Administration–approved treatment specifically for DR, and informed discussion of treatment options among optometrists, patients, and retina specialists enhances the quality of care. The purpose of this activity is to provide optometrists with current strategies needed to recognize patients at risk for diabetes and DR, identify patients at early stages of disease, and confidently make referral for possible treatment; and to discuss evidence-based treatment options with both retina specialists and patients.

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