optometrist versus ophthalmologist for diabetes

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Tim Tam
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Date Joined May 2016
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   Posted 2/3/2017 2:03 PM (GMT -6)   
I was told in a diabetes class that with diabetes, you should go to an eye doctor who is a doctor, not go to a optometrist who is not an actual doctor.

Because optomitrists (non doctors) can not put drops in your eyes when testing your eyes for some condition.

Then I heard someone say, it doesn't make any difference, a diabetic can go to either one.

What's the word on that?

(I corrected the spelling in the subject line.)

Post Edited By Moderator (LanieG) : 2/3/2017 3:02:58 PM (GMT-7)


Lanie G
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Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5918
   Posted 2/3/2017 3:18 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi and welcome back. I'm glad you're asking because it's important to have your eyes examined. An optometrist is an eye doctor who gives you an exam for glasses. He or she will write a prescription for glasses but can also test your eye pressure. Glaucoma is when the eye pressure is too high and if it's not treated can lead to blindness. If your eye pressure is discovered to be high during the eye exam at the optometrist's office, you would be referred to an ophthalmologist.

An ophthalmologist is the eye specialist who can test for all eye diseases and also perform surgery if needed.

Diabetics should have their eyes examined at least once a year and would do best to see an ophthalmologist because of the many complications possible like glaucoma, retinopathy, cataracts. These can happen at any age and are related to blood sugar levels.

(I wear glasses and it was during a routine eye exam for glasses that my optometrist tested my eye pressure and discovered it to be higher than normal so he referred me to an ophthalmologist, and now I see her every six months for glaucoma.)
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

Check out the following site for more info on blood sugar:
www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/

Tim Tam
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Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1019
   Posted 2/3/2017 6:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I appreciate that, Lanie.

The reason I asked was, I was fixing to call one or the other of those two today, and I had been wondering about that for a good while.

I have a friend who is an optometrist, who I had seen several times, and then was told in diabetes class that the doctor version of that was the best for diabetes.

So, I'm torn between my good friend, and the doctor version of the eye doctor. So, then I thought, HealilngWell has that diabetes forum that I've just been on a couple of times in the last day or two, ask there which is the better way to go.

I was really torn. But now I feel like I have an answer, so thank you very much.

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5918
   Posted 2/3/2017 6:54 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm glad you're thinking about your eyes. Sometimes people forget that the eyes are affected by diabetes and if a diabetic doesn't wear glasses, then he or she may not even have a regular eye exam. In any case, your friend the optometrist can tell you about your vision (and if you need glasses) and probably measure the eye pressure which is what my optometrist did. And if your pressure is higher than normal then maybe he can recommend an ophthalmologist for you to see.

The instruments and technology in the ophthalmologist's office today are amazing. They can see behind your eye, your optic nerve, measure the eye pressure, so many things.

And, to be honest, if I were you, I would make an appointment with an ophthalmologist anyway because if you are diabetic, then you really need to have your eyes thoroughly examined.

I'm happy you posted!
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

Check out the following site for more info on blood sugar:
www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/

Lynnwood
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Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7468
   Posted 2/4/2017 10:53 AM (GMT -6)   
Definitely ophthalmologist! Need checkup for eye disease, not just for vision correction!

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5918
   Posted 2/4/2017 11:30 AM (GMT -6)   
There you go! yeah
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

Check out the following site for more info on blood sugar:
www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1019
   Posted 2/10/2017 10:47 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the help.

Now that I have found out which of the 2 types of eye doctors to get, I sat down at my computer for eye doctors in my area.

It took awhile, for I was looking for a particular type, then the phone calls, and when I found one I wanted the appt. soon, for my eyes have needed new glasses for awhile.

I have the appt. Feb. 17. Now I worry I waited too long to get new glasses, but for one thing, I didn't have the data about which type of doctor to get. So I hope this works out OK.

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5918
   Posted 2/10/2017 1:04 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm glad you have an appointment with an eye doctor. Which kind is it? Be sure to tell him/her that you have diabetes. Good luck. (And don't worry about being "too late".)
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

Check out the following site for more info on blood sugar:
www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/

Anna Becker
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2016
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 2/10/2017 2:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I agree with Lanie G. I was diagnosed with diabetes 11 years ago (just above the legal limit, but diabetes none-the-less), which by the way I worked myself out of with diet and exercise. Diabetes however, will always be something I have to work to avoid. Anyway, back then I also had glaucoma. I have gone to an ophthalmologist every 6 months to have my pressure monitored. Got the pressure in my eyes to the 14-16 range with SLT, a laser treatment than usually lowers pressure, done by an ophthalmologist. However, I still have to be checked every 6 months because the glaucoma can come back. Eyes are often neglected, but since diabetes and glaucoma run in my family, I have to keep on top of both. I suggest you make regular visits to the ophthalmologist too. It can't hurt!

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1019
   Posted 2/10/2017 4:16 PM (GMT -6)   
1. Lanie: It's the one I can't spell. (Lanie, can you answer these below questions, also?)

2. Anna: You worked your way out of diabetes? I think I've heard of that one time, but, basically didn't even know it that was possible.

You are truly an example to follow on this forum.

I was years ago about 205 from being housebound. For the last few days, 160. I'm about 5-11. What is my target weight?

Today my blood sugar was 101, which I think is a big lie. I've learned, if I take my best before breakfast, it's 125 to 135, no matter what.

If I take it before lunch, that's a way for me to cheat. Lowest before was 113 before lunch. Today before lunch, 101.

I now remember for breakfast I had Cream of Wheat, with chopped up big slice of spam, no butter. Water. Very good.

Could the reading be real with the good breakfast?

How did you do it? How long did it take you?

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5918
   Posted 2/10/2017 4:32 PM (GMT -6)   
Tim Tam, here is a site that has a weight chart for men: www.healthdiscovery.net/links/calculators/ideal_bw_men.htm. And don't forget that your regular doctor should be able to give you more information about this.

Are you on diabetes medication? Cream of wheat will probably give you higher blood sugar readings. The ham is not the problem. If you had some scrambled eggs or an omelet with some vegetables and maybe some cheese, your blood sugar would also be lower.

If you're eating bread or potatoes with your meals (any meals), then your blood sugar will also be higher.

For testing you need to do it first things when you get up - that's fasting.

To see how your blood sugar reacts to the food you eat at any meal, you test right before you start eating and then about two hours after you finish. The second test will show you how high your blood sugar rose. If it rises a lot, then you know that you've eaten too many carbs.

Please read the link to the website that's in my signature for more information on blood sugar.



yeah
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

Check out the following site for more info on blood sugar:
www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1019
   Posted 2/10/2017 7:46 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the good info, Lanie.

Anna Becker
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2016
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 2/11/2017 2:08 PM (GMT -6)   
Yes, I did work my way out. Thank goodness I went to an Endocrinologist who didn't put me on medicine, but told me that I had two years to change my ways or there was nothing I could do. As I said, I was just over the legal limit, so we caught it early and I was able to do what needed to be done. It took me 4-6 months to get where I needed to be. The problem is after 8-10 years I was doing so good, I fell off the wagon. Guess what? My blood sugar started going up again. I was only in the pre-diabetic range, but above where I needed to be. So I got a second wake up call. Now I'm back on the straight and narrow, and my blood sugar is good. For me it's not only cutting the sugar, but walking 10,000 steps a day.

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5918
   Posted 2/11/2017 2:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I was able to control my blood sugar for about four years with diet and exercise alone, but when I had hip bursitis I couldn't do all the exercise I had been doing and the blood sugar crept higher. Long story short, I'm now on metformin but still on a very low carb eating plan.

Everyone is different, at different stages of insulin resistance and at different situations in life but I fully believe regardless of any of this that if we do mind what we eat and if we do make an effort for some daily exercise then we can avoid many of the complications of diabetes later on in life!

yeah
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

Check out the following site for more info on blood sugar:
www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/

Anna Becker
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2016
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 2/13/2017 7:40 AM (GMT -6)   
So true Lanie! Everyone is different. A good diet and some level of exercise will give you positive benefits, even if it doesn't completely control your blood sugar, it's still a good thing to do. Just curious, you are such a wealth of info in this area, self taught or formal training?

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5918
   Posted 2/13/2017 8:12 AM (GMT -6)   
I don't have any medical training (and I can't emphasize that enough here, that I'm not a doctor or medical professional). Diabetes is on my mother's side of the family and killed my grandmother and my mother yet I still did not understand diabetes until I was put on a blood sugar meter eleven years ago because my blood sugar was creeping up. I met a type 1 Scot here on HW who introduced me to Dr. Richard Bernstein's Diabetes Solution and from there I learned as much as I could about blood sugar and control and also found the website whose link I have in my signature.
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

Check out the following site for more info on blood sugar:
www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1019
   Posted 2/13/2017 5:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Lanie:

Sorry to hear about your mother and grandmother.

You do seem to address this issue with a sense of urgency and purpose. Have you ever written any articles about this for health magazines or websites?

I think you'd be the right one to do that.

You say a blood sugar meter made you much more aware of high blood sugar levels, is that just a regular meter you use to test 2 or 3 times a day?

I don't take any medicines for diabetes.

Before breakfast today, my count was 115. Before lunch, it was 117.

OK, here's a note for you. In my health diary, I wrote down for Oct. 28, 2015, "161 fasting" and added "which was no carb day before."

Here's another note: Oct. 13, 2015 fasting b/s 165 (even though on the day before, I had "no fruit, no carbs, no sugar and my fasting b/s increased by 20 points (to 165)." (but no exercise the day before.)

Here's another note on July 30, 2015: "I've been on new diet (no carbs) for about 1 1/2 months and I've not lost 1 pound, but my b/s has gone up like 10 or more points, like almost 160 today {and 135 before this diet}." My weight on no carb diet on July 29, 2015, was 170.

Today, Feb. 2, 2017, off the carb diet, my weight has dropped 170 to 160. My b/s readings have dropped from from 145 and 160, to 115 before breakfast today and 117 before lunch.

Now, I will add this: about a year ago, I went from once around the block every day (often stopping for my dog) to 50% more walking non stop around the block.

The argument could be made, that the extra 400 yards walking non stop every day is the reason for my decrease in weight (170 to 160) and decrease in my blood sugar (c. 140 to c. 120) even though I was not on no-carb diet during this decrease.

So, this increased exercise seems to be helping more than the non-carb diet. Perhaps non-carb diet and increased exercise could help even more.

Also I want to add, taking my b/s before lunch (111) instead of before breakfast (150 today), makes me look like a champion.

How to explain this sudden drop in b/s when all I've done is take my b/s at a different part of the day?

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5918
   Posted 2/13/2017 7:20 PM (GMT -6)   
Several factors affect our blood sugar results: exercise, food, sickness, other medications, stress, empty stomach. Normally when we first wake up, it should be lower than 100 but even if we don't eat anything at all, it will rise by itself as the morning wears on. This is natural. The body creates glucose for us to have energy to take on the day if we don't eat breakfast for fuel. (I am making this very simplistic because keep in mind I don't fully understand all the workings of our body!)

If we eat breakfast, then our blood sugar may rise faster or later depending on what we eat and sometimes it will hardly change - all depending on what we eat and what we've been doing.

Exercise uses up blood glucose in our system and helps control our blood sugar and this is really good and this is why all diabetics benefit from cardio exercise.

Tim Tam, I don't know the answer to your question about your readings. To understand all that, you would have to record what the blood sugar was when you woke up, what you ate and when, what you did in the morning, what your blood sugar was about 2 hours after eating, etc.
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

Check out the following site for more info on blood sugar:
www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/

Anna Becker
New Member


Date Joined Sep 2016
Total Posts : 19
   Posted 2/14/2017 12:25 PM (GMT -6)   
Well Lanie, you have taught yourself well and are a great resource for all of us. My grandmother and aunts had diabetes. My mother was determined not to get it and she didn't with diet and exercise. She was my inspiration to do the same. Thanks for all your help.

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1019
   Posted 2/14/2017 5:04 PM (GMT -6)   
When deciding what to eat for supper last night, I deliberately decided to go carb free, for first time in a year or more, and made a salad with turkey bacon (it has less fat than regular bacon). My two snacks were carb free (except for cheese-its).

Before breakfast this a.m., took fasting b/s level and it was 128 (with my carb free the night before).

For breakfast today, it was carb free (oat meal with milk and Spam).

Before lunch today, took 2nd b/s reading, it was 112.

Before breakfast Feb. 12, my b/s was 150. Today, with no carbs for supper or snacks the night before, 112.

I might go carb free for supper tonight, just out of curiosity, to see what a full day of basically no carbs does.

Lunch, went basically carb-free to see what this carb-free will do, had chicken salad on wheat free bread, pork and beans, and pop corn. Although, you said pop corn raised your blood sugar. I eat pop corn so I won't eat peanut butter, and it has no sugar and very low fat.

Post Edited (Tim Tam) : 2/14/2017 4:08:16 PM (GMT-7)


Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5918
   Posted 2/14/2017 7:59 PM (GMT -6)   
Tim Tam, I think you need to understand what carbs are in food. Oatmeal, regular milk, bread, beans and pop corn all have carbs. All that food come in packages, so you can read the labels for the carb content.

An example of breakfast might be: scrambled eggs with cheese and turkey bacon, or an omelet with mushrooms and some pieces of bell pepper or bacon.

Lunch could be: chicken salad with a couple of celery sticks or a "cheese puff" (I'll explain that below.), or a green salad topped with chicken and cheese or bacon and an oil and vinegar or lemon juice dressing

Dinner could be: any piece of meat/chicken/fish and a couple of vegetables like zucchini, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, or bell peppers

Snacks could be: a hard-boiled egg, a slice of cheese and some peanut butter or nuts, artificially sweetened yogurt.

Have you read the link in my signature? It has a lot of information about blood sugar and there is a search box on the first page so you can find different things.
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

Check out the following site for more info on blood sugar:
www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1019
   Posted 2/15/2017 1:34 PM (GMT -6)   
Lanie:

I have not read the link in your signature, meaning the link below your signature below and in all of your posts. It is:

Check out the following site for more info on blood sugar:
www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/

which can be clicked on below your signature.

That link begins:

"I know your time is limited, and this site is very big--90,000 words at last count--so here's a quick rundown of what you'll find in its pages. The emphasis is on teaching you how to bring your blood sugars down to the level that peer reviewed research has shown will prevent complications. The statements you'll find here are not just opinions. They're backed up by mainstream medical research which you can read--and evaluate--for yourself as we provide links to the actual journal articles."

Thank you for reminding me.

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5918
   Posted 2/15/2017 4:33 PM (GMT -6)   
After you click on that link in my signature, click on the red subtitle "Site Summary....". That's a good place to start on that website. I think that would be helpful to you to learn about what foods you should eat and what to avoid as far as carbs.
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

Check out the following site for more info on blood sugar:
www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/

Tim Tam
Veteran Member


Date Joined May 2016
Total Posts : 1019
   Posted 2/16/2017 4:10 PM (GMT -6)   
I went to the eye doctor today, which started this thread of with diabetes, which is better to see, an optometrist (not medical doctor) or an ophthalmologist (a medical doctor)?

Well, at least I got off of dead center and got an appointment with an ophthalmologist. I never saw one, but I got an appointment with one.

I saw two, and each one of them I asked, are you a medical doctor, and they said, "No, I'm an optometrist."

Oh, well. I gave it my best effort.

But they did say, "If you have certain situations, because of your diabetes, we can refer you to our ophthalmologist."

My eyes were watering for weeks. So I'm glad people on this site got me off of dead center, where I had been for probably months. They did dialite my eyes, which I don't think my friend the optometrist could do.

I was worried I had waited so late that it had hurt my eyes.

They did an eye exam. I said, well now do I get to go pick out a pair of new frames? She said, "Well, you can but new glasses aren't going to do you any good. I can't improve you eyes."

Oh well. Never been told that by an eye doctor. She said, "You have cataracts and the only thing that's going to help you is to have an eye surgeon take them off.

I figure that would be a months of deliberation, just like it was with my eye exam. She said the lady at the front desk can help you with that. The lady at the front desk said, "Morning or afternoon?"

I mean it was decided right there in the lobby. Oh, wow. I said, morning, as in let's get it over with. She said, "9:10." The secretary was pretty much the one who decided it.

I did asked the optometrist, "Was this caused by my diabetes?" and she said, "Too many birthdays."

So, there we have it. That's why I can't hardly read a newspaper any more.

So, I do thank everybody's help on here.

Lanie G
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 5918
   Posted 2/16/2017 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Well, my goodness! Cataract surgery is not difficult these days, I understand. With today's technology, it's very quick but I think they do one eye at a time. Make sure you follow their instructions afterwards.

I guess I thought you had an appointment with an ophthalmologist - what happened? In any case, please make sure that your eye pressure is tested. This is for glaucoma.

Good luck with the cataract surgery!
Lanie

diabetes moderator
diabetes type 2 controlled by diet and exercise and
metformin
very low carb way of eating

Check out the following site for more info on blood sugar:
www.phlaunt.com/diabetes/
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