Preventive Eye Care Services Critical to Comprehensive Diabetes Strategy



    TORONTO, Nov. 29 /CNW/ - The Ontario Association of Optometrists (OAO)
welcomes the McGuinty government's commitment to developing a comprehensive
diabetes strategy, as indicated in today's Throne Speech.
    "The prevalence of diabetes in Ontario has increased dramatically over
the past ten years," said Dr. William Ulakovic, President of the Ontario
Association of Optometrists. "Among the potential complications faced by
patients with diabetes is the loss of vision. In fact ocular complications
resulting from diabetes is the leading cause of blindness among Canadians aged
30 to 69."
    While family physicians are vital in working with patients to control
diabetes, preventive eye care services, provided by optometrists to those at
significant risk of vision loss, are critical in identifying the earliest
signs of eye disease. Sight can be saved with early detection and treatment.
    The number of patients with diabetes seeking optometric care has grown by
almost 40 per cent in the last year.
    OAO looks forward to working with the McGuinty government and other
health care providers to develop a strategy that will ensure Ontarians with
diabetes have access to the health care services they need to manage this
disease.

    About the OAO

    Optometrists are the primary providers of eye health and vision care in
Ontario. Founded in 1909, the Ontario Association of Optometrists is the
professional voluntary organization that creates the vision and articulates
the voice of 1,200 registered optometrists in Ontario.





For further information:

For further information: Christine Parsons, Ontario Association of
Optometrists, Tel: (905) 826-3522, Cell: (416) 575-3954,
cparsons@optom.on.ca,

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Ontario Association of Optometrists

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