By Robin Wulffson MD for eMaxHealth.com
Many Americans require corrective lenses and visit their optometrist on a regular basis for a thorough eye exam; some of them may have undiagnosed diabetes. Dr. Roger Phelps is an optometrist affiliated with VSP, a network of eye specialists that stresses regular eye exams. He has a special interest in diabetes, due partly to the fact that he is a type 1 diabetic. He has found that a sudden change in refraction not uncommonly is related to the onset of diabetes.
Dr. Phelps is a certified diabetic educator whose practice is located in Ojai, California, a city situated in the Ojai Valley, northwest of Los Angeles and southeast of Santa Barbara. He has a healthy relationship with both the family practitioners in the area and the ophthalmologists (MDs who specialize in diseases of the eye). He explains that once every month or two, he encounters a patient who presents for a routine eye exam who has developed diabetes. He notes that occasionally these patients have had a recent blood glucose that was in the normal range. He recommends that all patients with a sudden vision change should seek an immediate appointment with their family physician and have a hemoglobin A1C drawn, which can diagnose diabetes and also determine how well one’s diabetes is under control.