American Optometric Association’s Survey Reveals Misconceptions About Diabetes


ST. LOUIS—The most recent American Eye-Q Survey, conducted by the American Optometric Association (AOA) has revealed that, as prevalent as diabetes is, 79 percent of Americans don’t know that diabetic eye diseases have no visible symptoms and more than half don’t know comprehensive eye examinations can detect diabetes.

"In 2016 alone, doctors of optometry identified diabetes-related manifestations in more than 320,000 patients who were unaware they had diabetes, leading to prompt diagnoses and care, which minimizes the risk of complications," said Christopher J. Quinn, OD, president of the AOA. "A dilated eye examination by a doctor of optometry is one of the most efficient ways to detect new cases of diabetes."

Since November is Diabetes Awareness Month, the AOA said it is committed to educating the public about the relationship between diabetes and eye health, as the annual Eye-Q survey shows that after learning about the topic many participants said they would be prompted to take steps to ensure their eye health.

The AOA is advocating for regular, dilated eye exams for those with diabetes, or at risk for diabetes, because the alternatives—like online vision apps—only check for refractive errors like nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism and cannot detect diabetes.