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[IP] Re: insulin-pumpers-digest V6 #510

I am writing to set the record straight.  I am a pumping optometrist with 
Type I diabetes.  Optometrists specialize in refraction (getting your 
prescription for glasses) and diagnosing eye disease.  Optometrists are just 
as qualified to diagnose and follow retinal diabetic disease as 
ophthalmologists.  Ophthalmologists specialize in surgery or laser once 
retinopathy develops.  Most of my friends who are ophthalmologists do not 
want to do the every day, routine eye exams.  They want to do the surgery, 
where the money is.  (I am not putting down ophthalmologists here, but they 
do get more money for surgery that routine stuff.)  The ophthalmologists that 
I refer to send my patients back to me to follow and just want to see them 
when it is surgery time.  Generally, an optometrist will spend more time with 
you than an ophthalmologist.  I schedule exams every 40 minutes.  
Ophthalmologists have many more patients to see in a day and usually they 
will see you for about 5 minutes to check the retina.  Optometrists also look 
at the whole eye and dilate to look at the retina.  (I am not sure where 
"they only look at the front of the eye" came from??)  Optometrists follow 
any changes in the prescription and, if sugars are uncontrolled, you will 
have major changes in the prescription.  Optometrists by nature are VERY anal 
people and we tend to worry a great deal about our patients.  We also tend to 
know the whole picture of our patients because we do get to know them 
personally.  Children should have their eyes examined at age 6 months, 3 
years and then every year while in school..... and that is for non-diabetic 
children.  Diabetic children should be seen every year regardless of how long 
they have had diabetes!!  Andy Winters, Do you want a job in Pittsburgh???  
There is an organization called the American Academy of Optometry and 
optometrists who are Fellows in the organization will have FAAO after their 
name and generally have done more schooling to become a fellow.  If anyone 
would like a referral to one of these doctors, I believe you can go to the 
websites: www.aaoptom.org.  For the American Optometric Association, you can 
go to www.aoa.org.  If there are any other questions, feel free to email me 
directly at email @ redacted  Thanks.  Maria Eger, O.D., F.A.A.O.
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