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    Improve and protect the next patient with diabetes

    Preventive ocular medicine can restore bilateral visual function while improving peripheral neuropathy

    Paul Chous, OD, MA, and his scientific team, as published in a recent British Journal of Ophthalmology clinical scientific study, have just raised the bar for public service, professional practice, and fiscal responsibility.1 The clinical results of this placebo-controlled, randomized, double-masked, peer-reviewed DiVFuSS study (Diabetes Visual Function Supplement Study) should be embraced by optometrists and inspire ocular disease faculty at our growing list of colleges and schools of optometry to do much more for the optometric patient with diabetes. And it’s non–invasive. DiVFuSS should be required reading for every optometry student and ophthalmology resident, postgraduate optometry residents, and practicing OD regardless of their ability or practice location—this article is for doctors treating patients and healthcare agencies trying to save money.

    Related: The importance of multidisciplinary care for diabetes

    We can do more to help

    DiVFuSS shows us that beyond blood sugar and blood pressure control, more can be done for the diabetic patient with retinal disease to improve both overall health and retinal function (vision), rather than blindly forwarding on all patients to the retinal specialist for invasive intraretinal treatments once damage has already occurred. Such anti-VEGF and depot steroid treatments, for example, while an improvement over past retinal ablation therapy, fail to address the multisystem ocular and systemic pathophysiology that all too often result in loss of vision, nerve damage (neuropathy), and cardiovascular, nephron-vascular, and neuro-cognitive damage.2

    The results of DiVFuSS demonstrate that treatment with an inexpensive nutritional supplement matrix normalizes most serum lipids (i.e., triglycerides and HDL: P values ranging from 0.01 to 0.0004), lowers inflammatory hsCRP (high sensitivity C reactive protein: P=0.01), and improves diabetic peripheral neuropathy (P=0.0024). Though not quite statistically significant (P< 0.07), six percent of subjects receiving the DiVFuSS formula were clinically upgraded from moderate to merely mild non-proliferative diabetic retinopathy.1

    Next: Use of preventative ocular medicine

    Stuart Richer, OD, PhD, FAAO
    Stuart Richer, OD, PhD, FAAO, is director of ocular preventive medicine at James Lovell Federal Health Care Facility in Chicago. He is ...


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