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Home » What's New » Q&A on Diabetes with Dr. Scott Lewis – Part 2

Q&A on Diabetes with Dr. Scott Lewis – Part 2

Here is part 2 of our list of questions for Dr. Lewis on the topic of Diabetes:

Q: What treatment options and/or care is available for this condition?

If a patient develops diabetic retinopathy, the severity of the condition will determine the course of care.  Patients who develop macular edema, which is swelling in the center of the retina, are referred to a retinal specialist within 1-2 weeks.

Traditionally, macular edema was treated with focal laser treatments.  However, recent data has shown that a new class of medication called anti-VEGF is more effective for macular edema than laser therapy alone.

Q: What are the risks and side effects associated with these treatments? What if you don’t proceed with treatment?

Early detection of diabetic retinopathy and treatment with anti-VEGF medications such as Avastin and Lucentis has been shown to be approximately 90% successful in preventing severe vision loss.

Not proceeding with a recommended treatment could lead to quicker and more severe vision loss.

Q: Will a change in a patient’s diet, exercise routine, or medication help at all?

Lifestyle choices play a part in the management of diabetes.  Patients that keep blood sugar within normal limits, maintain healthy blood pressure, eat a healthy diet, exercise regularly, and don’t smoke are more likely to avoid diabetic retinopathy or lower the risk of progression.

Q: Can you recommend a vitamin/mineral program for me that might be helpful or are vitamin supplements specific to each patient?

There is limited scientific evidence on the effectiveness of dietary supplements and vitamins in patients with diabetes.  Patients should inform their healthcare providers about any supplements that they are currently using or considering.

That being said, there are six supplements commonly used in patients with type 2 diabetes that appear to be generally safe at low to moderate doses: alpha-lipoic acid (ALA), chromium, coenzyme Q10, garlic, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids.

Further study is needed to standardize the recommendations involving many of these supplements.  Until that time, patients are best off working with their primary care physician to determine a plan to manage their diabetes.  This plan should include lifestyle choices, potential medications, and (of course) an annual diabetic eye exam!


For more information about Diabetes and how it it treated by your eye doctor, please click here:


Dear Patients,

Dr. Lewis Eye Care has made the difficult choice to temporarily close due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic based on the recommendation of the CDC. We cannot perform eye exams while maintaining social distancing, so continuing to see patients at this time could contribute to the spread of the virus.

Our initial plan had been to reopen Monday April 6th. However, as we get closer to that date it is becoming apparent that we may have to be closed for a longer, indefinite period of time.

If you are having an urgent eye health issue, there are some clinics in our area that are seeing patients for emergencies during shorter business hours. You should call ahead to those offices before going to their clinic, as their availability might change day by day. Those clinics could include Vancouver Eye Care at 360-823-2020, Peace Health Medical Group Eye Care at 360-514-7210, and Vancouver Clinic in Salmon Creek at 360-882-2778.

If you need a glasses or contact lens prescription emailed to you from our office, click on the Contact Form link, type in your name, email, and what you are requesting, and we will email you the information you need as soon as we can.

Thank you for your understanding, and please stay healthy during this difficult time.


Dr. Scott Lewis, OD