Older Patients Have High Rates of Untreated Eye Disease

Armen Hareyan's picture

On their dilated eye exams, the researchers found high rates of untreated eye disease.Do you have an untreated eye disease, or has your eye care been met?

The researchers have found high rates of untreated eye diesase on their dilated eye exams. This research was led by Dr. Arleen Brown, whos is the assistant professor of medicine at UCLA's David GEffen School of Medicine.

According to the results 42 percent of patients in managed care programs and 28 percent of the subjects in the fee-for-service group needed care within six months for treatable eye conditions. "Many of the participants who had unmet needs for treatable eye conditions had seen their eye doctor in the previous 12 months. This suggests that there may be a quality problem with the eye care these seniors received," noted Dr. Brown.


The study reveals how much research needs to be done in order to identify health care system-level factors that are needed to be changed in order to improve the management of eye care. This is especially needed for the older people with diabetes. There are age-related eye conditions (cataracts and glaucoma) that are not taken into consideration by the frequency of diabetic eye examinations, which are recommended presently. This is why this research how much work needs to be done and what needs to be changed to improve the eye care management for the elderly people.

Presently ophthalmologists commonly recommend that diabetics have their eyes checked yearly. This includes not only for the young and mid-aged patients, but also older patients, who are likelier to have cataracts, glaucoma and other age-related eye conditions in addition to diabetic eye disease.

The total of 836 patients were examined. 418 of them were of age 65 and older, with type 2 diabetes. 311 patients were in a managed care organizations and 107 were treated on a fee-for-service basis.

The entire research appears in the May 2005 issue of Archives of Ophthalmology.