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Managing Contact Lens Wear in Patients With Diabetes.

For years, the prevalence of diabetes has been on the rise. In 2012, according to the American Diabetes Association, 29.1 million Americans—9.3% of the population—had diabetes, and the incidence was 1.7 million newly diagnosed cases per year. In addition, 86 million Americans age 20 years and older had prediabetes, and many of those people will be diagnosed with type 2 diabetes within the next decade.1 Perhaps more alarming is the steady increase in the number of children diagnosed with type 2 diabetes due to the obesity epidemic. The estimate is that by 2050, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes in people under the age of 20 years will quadruple. Interestingly, the prevalence of type 1 diabetes is also climbing; experts estimate that the number of people with type 1 diabetes will triple within that same time frame.1 With these kinds of numbers, it is critically important for eye care practitioners to understand how to manage patients with diabetes, particularly those who wish to wear contact lenses. In the past, it was a common belief that diabetes and contact lenses did not mix. In reality, contact lenses are safe for patients with diabetes. March et al found that patients with diabetes showed no increased complications over patients without diabetes for daily soft contact lens wear.2 Although contact lens wear is indeed viable for people with diabetes, there are extra considerations eye care practitioners must acknowledge and discuss with these patients – See more at: