Published in Research

Optometric task force releases new report on DR management

This is editorially independent content
3 min read

A 14-member expert panel of optometrists has developed a new report on diabetic retinopathy (DR) that seeks to simplify and standardize assessment of the disease in order to avoid preventable vision loss.

Let’s start with this task force.

Established in 2022, the Optometric Clinical Advisory team was formed with the purpose to provide guidance to the optometric community on how to successfully integrate retinal functional testing strategies into clinical practice.

More specifically, the panel sought to simplify and standardize DR assessment along with disease management via the development of a set of practical guidelines for optometrists.

So who are the 14 members?

The panel of optometric experts includes:

  • Frances Bynum, OD (Northwest Tennessee Eye Clinic)
  • A. Paul Chous, MA, OD, FAAO (Chous Eyecare Associates)
  • Michael Cymbor, OD, FAAO (Nittany Eye Associates)
  • Timothy Earley, OD (Medina Vision and Laser Center)
  • Steven Ferrucci, OD, FAAO (Sepulveda Veterans Administration)
  • Jeffry Gerson, OD, FAAO (Grin Eye Care)
  • Dorothy Hitchmoth, OD, FAAO (Dr. Dorothy Hitchmoth, PLLC)
  • Ansel Johnson, OD (Vision Salon Eye Care Associates)
  • Paul Karpecki, OD, FAAO (Kentucky Eye Institute)
  • Nathan Lighthizer, OD, FAAO (NSU Oklahoma College of Optometry)
  • Julie Rodman, OD, MSc, FAAO (The Eyecare Institute - Broward)
  • Justin Schweitzer, OD, FAAO (Vance Thompson Vision)
  • Jim Thimons, OD, FAAO (Ophthalmic Consultants of Connecticut)
  • Bobby “Chip” Wood, OD (Wood Vision Source, Coyote Optical)

Click here for details on each doctor.

And what does this report include?

The report, titled Modern Fundamentals of Diabetic Retinopathy Management in Optometry, includes a framework for a more simplified form of DR management.

To note, the consensus document has received financial support from LKC Technologies.

The guidelines follow five basic principles:

  1. Detect
    1. From a chronic, progressive disease standpoint, DR can be detected before evolving to  an advanced stage.
  2. Grade
    1. Grade DR at time of diagnosis and each visit that follows.
  3. Assess risk
    1. Monitor patients via structural and objective functional measures
  4. Manage
    1. Use multi-disciplinary resource for all DR patients
  5. Support
    1. Offer comprehensive patient education/strategies for preventing disease progression.

How is it laid out?

Each of the five sections are presented as conversational dialogue between the 14 panelists, complete with questions and answers, visuals, and practice pearls they themselves use for treating DR patients.

So how can I access this report?

To download the consensus document, click here.