One of the most feared complications of diabetes is the loss of eyesight. To prevent this, it is extremely important that patients with diabetes get their eyes screened on a regular basis. Dr. Steven Brooks, the chair of the Department of Ophthalmology at the Medical College of Georgia and AU Health, along with Drs. Diego Espinosa and Mary Sezer, have now opened a special clinic designed to specifically address this issue and provide access to patients. They are excited to be a part of the comprehensive diabetes care that patients can receive at AU Health, as well as enhancing opportunities for teaching and research to benefit patients.
In the past, most screening was handled through primary care. Diabetic patients would have a photo of the retina taken and the photo would be sent to an ophthalmologist for reading. Unfortunately, the photos were often not of sufficient quality to be accurately interpreted, and other aspects of eye care such a checking for glaucoma and cataract were not included. The new diabetic eye care clinic will provide a more comprehensive exam of the eyes. If any problems are detected the patient will be referred to the appropriate specialty clinic in ophthalmology.
“The importance of screening eye exams cannot be over emphasized because patients may not even know that they are having complications until they lose vision, and at that point it may be very difficult to recover fully,” Brooks said.
“We hope very much that patients and healthcare providers will take advantage of this exciting and beneficial service,” Brooks added.
Patients interested in making an appointment for the new diabetic eye care clinic can call the AU ophthalmology hotline at 706-721-2020.
Appointments can also be requested through Power Chart in the AU electronic health record. Click the diabetic icon with any clinic. This should take you to scheduling for available appointments.