Experts: Eye Exams Help Determine COVID Mortality Risk
Tuesday, November 30, 2021
CARSON CITY, Nev. -- Eye exams can help determine your risk of dying from COVID, according to experts, because optometrists are often the first medical professionals to notice symptoms of diabetes.
A 2020 study in the Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology found people with diabetes are more than four times more likely to succumb to COVID than non-diabetics.
Dr. Scott Edmonds, optometrist and chief eye care officer at UnitedHealthcare, said getting treatment for diabetes will improve the odds against COVID.
"A well-controlled diabetic will fare better in the face of COVID infection than someone who is an uncontrolled diabetic," Edmonds explained. "And often that difference between controlled and uncontrolled is seen in the eye exam, as opposed to other tests."
Optometrists will suspect diabetes if a person is obese, or has a family history of diabetes, and if a younger person's prescription changes suddenly, if the patient starts to develop cataracts before age 60, or if small hemorrhages are visible under a microscope.
Edmonds noted if a patient is diagnosed as diabetic or pre-diabetic, the optometrist can recommend they take preventive measures against COVID.
"Then we can have that person take more precautions," Edmonds advised. "Being more careful with their masks, maybe talk them into getting a vaccine if they weren't otherwise inclined because now they're at higher risk."
He added so-called "long-haul" COVID can cause neurological changes that result in double vision, blur and eye strain, especially when someone is sitting in front of a computer screen.
get more stories like this via email
Examples of proposed policies and candidates tied to false claims of election fraud have spread to Minnesota, and a new national report found the …
New Mexico continues to battle the largest wildfires in its history, and other states including Nevada, along with parts of Arizona and Colorado…
A new museum exhibition in Baltimore opening to the public today aims to tell the story of Maryland's fight for civil rights, both in the past and …
Virginia's food banks are facing a perfect storm of issues. High inflation for everyday goods is driving up food costs for lower-income families…
Health and Wellness
Vice President Kamala Harris met with abortion providers from Missouri and other restrictive states Thursday to consider ways the Biden administration…
Connecticut is celebrating its first estuary reserve, which will help identify environmental threats to waterways and natural resources. …
New York elected officials are calling on the General Assembly to pass legislation to transition new buildings off fossil fuels, saying it would make …
A totem pole from Washington state promoting a free-flowing Snake River has nearly completed its 2,500-mile journey around the Northwest. The Spirit …