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Frequent Advisor
katluvr
Total Posts: 198
Registered on: ‎11-14-2012

Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

I'm getting conflicting information and I'd love to hear from those of you with more experience than I have.

 

I currently see an excellent optometrist for my eyeglass needs.  When I learned I had T2 I asked him if he was able to do my annual diabetic eye exam and he indicated that yes, he can, and that he sees other diabetics as part of his practice.  He is very thorough and I trust him.

 

My mother, who also has T2, just saw her ophthalmologist last week for her annual eye exam and he said that I should see an ophthalmologist (MD) NOT an optometrist (OD).

 

First and foremost I want to do what's right to protect my eyesight, but if all things are equal I would prefer to stick with my current OD instead of finding an MD.

 

I'm wondering if there is any validity to what my mom's doctor said or if it is just that he is biased in favor of MDs when a good OD is just as capable of meeting my needs.  You see this kind of thing all the time between interventional cardiologists who want to stent everything and cardiac surgeons who want to bypass everything.  They are looking out for their own interests instead of their patients' interests.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thank you,

 

Debbie

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
”It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.” - Vince Lombardi

Diagnosed T2 on 25 OCT 2012
FBG @ diagnosis: 296
A1C on 26 NOV 2012: 9.3
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A1C on 6 MAY 2013: 5.8
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Super Advisor
Spookiesmom
Total Posts: 1,453
Registered on: ‎02-17-2010

Re: Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

See the MD. If there are any problems s/he can take care of them. The OD can't do that, and would need to refer you. Any thing from cataracts, retinopathy macular degeneration. MD.
Barb T2 Omni Pod since 1-09
Trusted Contributor
maryd98
Total Posts: 6,017
Registered on: ‎08-07-2012

Re: Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

I also say go with the MD. You don't have to give up your optometrist--you'll see him when it's time to get glasses, right?-- but I'd go to the MD for check-ups, tests, and such. It's what's always been recommended to me (by everyone) and what I've always done.

Till next time,
maryd98
the diabetic formerly known as 14 and counting, aka Mary
-----------------------------------
Diagnosed T2 July 1998
First A1C (July 1998): 13.6
First BG (July 1998): 537
Latest A1C (August 2014): 5.7
On oral meds for about 9 months after diagnosis
"Just" diet and exercise for 15+ years
lizzylou
Total Posts: 13,930
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Registered on: ‎10-31-2009

Re: Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

My mother, who also has T2, just saw her ophthalmologist last week for her annual eye exam and he said that I should see an ophthalmologist (MD) NOT an optometrist (OD).

 

Apparently optometrist can now do dialated eye exams.  My HMO sent me to one and I insisted on an ophthalmologist.  I said I'm a diabetic and I want a doctor.  With all of the money I pay I deserve the MD in my opinion.  I have to go tomorrow because I'm having a problem, an optometrist couldn't help me with it, and ophthal. can. 

 

Lizzy

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Super Advisor
jpg391
Total Posts: 5,922
Registered on: ‎05-22-2011

Re: Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

[ Edited ]

Debbie, here is what the American Diabetes Association suggests. Both are just as good at detecting eye problems. But only ophthalmologists can treat retinopathy. But it is up to you.

 

See your eye care professional at least once a year for a dilated eye exam.  Having your regular doctor look at your eyes is not enough. Nor is having your eyeglass prescription tested by an optician. Only optometrists and ophthalmologists can detect the signs of retinopathy. Only ophthalmologists can treat retinopathy.

 

 

James G

I'm just a guy who has had type 2 diabetes for 30+ years.

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Super Advisor
ffmaya
Total Posts: 1,533
Registered on: ‎10-29-2011

Re: Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

I see an optometrist because he is less expensive, though very thorough.  So far no problems, if anything should show up in the future, I'd have to see an ophthalmologist.

Farida

" Remember, Google is your friend"

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Current 8/20/14 - A1c 5.8
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Advisor
Carleen656
Total Posts: 429
Registered on: ‎05-11-2012

Re: Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

I, too. had an optomologist whom I liked but my insurance and Primary Care Physician both require that I see an opthamologist for eye care since being diagnosed with diabetes.  In fact, both of those doctors said they will not accept any diagnoses, etc., from someone who is not an MD. 

 

Carleen...
Listening for the Shout
1 Thes. 4:16-17
Frequent Advisor
xenablue
Total Posts: 1,775
Registered on: ‎11-02-2009

Re: Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

According to my medical team, only a properly qualified Opthalmologist (one who particularly specialises in diabetes) is capable of seeing the microscopic nerve damage if there is any.

 

I go to an eye clinic and the one Opthalmologist I see is The One and only who deals with diabetes as his specialty.

 

No Optometrist is qualified to look for retinopathy and other damage from diabetes.

 

Cheers,

xenablue




Dx 2008 - A1C 8.6
Current A1C 5.5
Responder
weimardog
Total Posts: 38
Registered on: ‎11-02-2009

Re: Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?

I too love my optometrist.  She is very thorough, trained to detect diabetic retinopathy (she cannot treat it) and the price is right. I went to see a ophthalmologist, at he insistence of my PCP.  The vast majority of the exam was done by what I guess is a PA.  The doctor spent maybe 2 or 3 minutes with me and only appeared to check for retinopathy.  Did not say one word, until I brought it up, about my cataracts or dry eyes and it was quite a bit more expensive.

alan_s
Total Posts: 15,272
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Registered on: ‎10-30-2009

Re: Optometrist or Ophthalmologist?



katluvr wrote:

I'm getting conflicting information and I'd love to hear from those of you with more experience than I have.

 

I currently see an excellent optometrist for my eyeglass needs.  When I learned I had T2 I asked him if he was able to do my annual diabetic eye exam and he indicated that yes, he can, and that he sees other diabetics as part of his practice.  He is very thorough and I trust him.

 

My mother, who also has T2, just saw her ophthalmologist last week for her annual eye exam and he said that I should see an ophthalmologist (MD) NOT an optometrist (OD).

 

First and foremost I want to do what's right to protect my eyesight, but if all things are equal I would prefer to stick with my current OD instead of finding an MD.

 

I'm wondering if there is any validity to what my mom's doctor said or if it is just that he is biased in favor of MDs when a good OD is just as capable of meeting my needs.  You see this kind of thing all the time between interventional cardiologists who want to stent everything and cardiac surgeons who want to bypass everything.  They are looking out for their own interests instead of their patients' interests.

 

Any thoughts?

 

Thank you,

 

Debbie


 

Possibly your optometrist is very good at what he does. But he is not a qualified doctor; which your ophthalmologist is.

 

I would see the ophthalmoplogist (and I do).

 

However, you could also see both. To be sure, to be sure.

Cheers, Alan, Type 2, d&e metformin 2000mg, Australia.
Everything in Moderation - Except Laughter.
There is nothing I could eat I like more than my eyes.
Type 2 Diabetes - A Personal Journey(latest: Catering For Different Tastes When Cooking)
Born Under a Wandering Star (Latest: Budapest, Hungary)