Dr. Edwin Marshall Talks Diabetic Eye Health

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    Edwin C. Marshall, O.D., M.S., M.P.H. is Professor Emeritus of Optometry in the Indiana University School of Optometry and Professor Emeritus of Public Health in the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health and the Indiana University School of Public Health – Bloomington. Prior to retiring from Indiana University in 2013, Dr. Marshall was Indiana University Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Multicultural Affairs in addition to being Professor of Optometry and Adjunct Professor of Public Health.

    Dr. Marshall was the founding Chair of the Minority Health Advisory Committee of the Indiana State Department of Health and Vice Chair of the Indiana Public Health Institute.

    How many times a year does a person need a visual field test?
    It is very important to have a comprehensive eye exam every year if you are at increased risk of either diabetic eye disease or glaucoma (have diabetes, African-American over the age of 40, have a family history of glaucoma or diabetes, otherwise over the age of 60). Your eye care professional may prescribe a more frequent schedule depending on your risk or presence of eye disease.

    I’m a diabetic. How often should I get an eye exam?
    It is very important for you to have a comprehensive eye exam at least once a year. However, your eye care professional may prescribe a more frequent schedule depending on your particular situation.

    Is pain a symptom of eye disease?
    The most common type of glaucoma and diabetic eye disease tend not to have early symptoms and early detection is important to prevent severe loss. It is very important to have a comprehensive eye exam every year if you are at increased risk of either diabetic eye disease or glaucoma (have diabetes, African-American over the age of 40, have a family history of glaucoma or diabetes, otherwise over the age of 60). If you have eye pain you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your eye care professional as soon as possible.

    Sometimes I wake up with very blood-shot eyes. Is that a symptom of eye disease?
    The best thing to do is to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your eye care professional.

    Can I get my vision back from diabetic eye disease?
    Vision that is lost from diabetic eye disease often cannot be restored. Therefore, early detection is very important. When detected early treatment is very effective in preventing severe vision loss. A comprehensive eye exam should be scheduled with your eye care professional.

    Is glaucoma hereditary?
    Those with a family history of glaucoma are at a higher risk of being diagnosed with glaucoma. However, anyone can get glaucoma so it is important to have a comprehensive eye examination, particularly if you have a family history of glaucoma, are African-American and over the age of 40, or not African-American but over the age of 60, especially if you are Mexican American.

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