As part of January’s National Glaucoma Awareness Month, Prevent Blindness, the nation’s leading voluntary eye health nonprofit organization, is offering a wide variety of free resources to help glaucoma patients and their caregivers find the support they need to address the many aspects of the eye disease.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 3 million Americans have glaucoma. And, it is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide. Glaucoma is an eye disease that causes loss of sight by damaging the optic nerve. Those with glaucoma begin to lose patches of vision, usually peripheral vision.
Prevent Blindness offers “The Glaucoma Community,” supported by Responsum Health, providing users with a free toolkit of helpful, community-oriented features. The platform offers a feature to help individuals organize their health information, and a personalized newsfeed designed to meet the needs of the user, which delivers easy-to-read summaries of important glaucoma news and information from across the internet every day. Additionally, The Glaucoma Community has a dedicated Facebook page. All Glaucoma Community content is written by professional health writers and reviewed by the Expert Advisory Council for The Glaucoma Community. Materials are available in multiple languages.
Since its launch in September 2020, The Glaucoma Community has reached more than 853,000 individuals seeking information about glaucoma and currently has close to 3,000 active members. The Glaucoma Community is supported by funding from Glaukos and Santen Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. Program partners for The Glaucoma Community include the BrightFocus Foundation, National Medical Association (NMA) Ophthalmology Section, The Glaucoma Foundation, and the Glaucoma Research Foundation.
The Prevent Blindness dedicated webpage, PreventBlindness.org/glaucoma, also provides free information on glaucoma, including risk factors, treatment options, instructions on how to administer eye drops, and much more. A variety of downloadable fact sheets are available, including a new resource, “Glaucoma Financial Assistance Information.”
As part of the Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health Expert Series, Constance Okeke, MD, MSCE, glaucoma specialist at Virginia Eye Consultants, and Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology at the Eastern Virginia Medical School, speaks with Prevent Blindness President and CEO Jeff Todd for the “Understanding Glaucoma” episode. A new segment of the discussion will also be available, where Dr. Okeke explains the importance of glaucoma patient and caregiver resources, and her participation as a volunteer on the Expert Advisory Council of The Glaucoma Community.
Lastly, Prevent Blindness offers the newly updated Living Well With Low Vision resource, designed for patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals. The site offers free directories, library of self-help guides, downloadable apps, and news of interest for people living with glaucoma and significant visual impairment.
“Prevent Blindness offers a wide variety of expert-approved materials and tools, free to the public, to help save sight from glaucoma,” said Mr. Todd. “We invite patients, caregivers and professionals to use these, and join The Glaucoma Community today to get the support and access to trusted resources needed to help save sight.”
For more information and materials on glaucoma, including fact sheets (available in English or Spanish), and sharable infographics, visit PreventBlindness.org/glaucoma. For information on additional glaucoma financial assistance programs, visit https://preventblindness.org/glaucoma-help.
About Prevent Blindness
Founded in 1908, Prevent Blindness is the nation’s leading volunteer eye health and safety organization dedicated to fighting blindness and saving sight. Focused on promoting a continuum of vision care, Prevent Blindness touches the lives of millions of people each year through public and professional education, advocacy, certified vision screening and training, community and patient service programs and research. These services are made possible through the generous support of the American public. Together with a network of affiliates, Prevent Blindness is committed to eliminating preventable blindness in America. For more information, visit them at preventblindness.org.