Prevent Blindness marks Glaucoma Awareness Month with free educational resources, glaucoma toolkit

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Prevent Blindness will offer downloadable fact sheets, shareable social media graphics and educational videos for patients

A digital folder open on a computer screen. Image credit: © Production Perig – stock.adobe.com

The toolkit includes printable flyers, social media graphics and powerpoint slides for in-office use Image credit: © Production Perig – stock.adobe.com

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month, and Prevent Blindness is providing patients, care partners and medical professionals with resources needed to educate on glaucoma, a leading cause of blindness.

According to a news release, as part of its effort, Prevent Blindness is providing downloadable fact sheets, including a listing of glaucoma financial assistance resources shareable social media graphics in both English and Spanish; and educational videos for patients. These efforts are supported by funding from Glaukos.1

“With early detection and adherence to treatment, sight can be saved from glaucoma,” said Prevent Blindness President and CEO Jeff Todd. “We invite everyone to utilise our free resources to learn about glaucoma and the steps that must be taken today to preserve vision for years to come.”

Glaucoma is often referred to as the silent thief of sight, because symptoms can begin gradually, usually affecting peripheral vision first. Late in the disease, glaucoma may cause “tunnel vision.” However, even central vision can also be seriously damaged. Once vision is lost to glaucoma, it cannot be restored.1

In an effort to support patients and their care partners, Prevent Blindness and Responsum Health offer “The Glaucoma Community,” a free platform available via a web browser or through a mobile app for Apple or Android users. The program, which is available in multiple languages, offers educational glaucoma content, a personalised newsfeed and the moderated “Community Chat,” where users can connect to share their experiences and advice, along with providing a source of support. The Glaucoma Community members are also invited to join its dedicated Facebook group.

According to Prevent Blindness, a new offering in 2024 is The Glaucoma Community Promotional Toolkit for healthcare and public health professionals. Included in the kit are:

  • Printable Flyers: Designed to be placed in clinic lanes, waiting rooms, or to be distributed to patients, especially those who have been newly diagnosed with glaucoma.
  • Social Media Graphics and Texts: Tailored for each social media platform, these may be posted to encourage patients, clients and community to learn more about The Glaucoma Community.
  • PowerPoint Slides: Created to share in various ways, including as part of waiting room television content, a screen saver in a clinic room computer or in presentations, etc.

The organisation noted that program partners for The Glaucoma Community include the BrightFocus Foundation, The Glaucoma Foundation, Glaucoma Research Foundation and the National Medical Association (NMA) Ophthalmology Section.1

Prevent Blindness also will be debuting the new “Focus on Eye Health Patient Story: Glaucoma” video, featuring Prevent Blindness Associate Director of Eye Health Services, Tasha R. Lockridge, sharing her personal journey with glaucoma. She provides a unique perspective of her years helping others with vision health issues, and later being diagnosed with the eye disease.

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’s Todd for the “Understanding Glaucoma” and “Information and Resources for Glaucoma Patients” episodes in the Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health Expert Series.

For more information and materials for glaucoma patients, visit PreventBlindness.org/glaucoma or the “Living with Glaucoma” resource from Glaukos at LivingwithGlaucoma.com.

Reference

1. Prevent Blindness Joins National Glaucoma Awareness Month in January to Educate the Public and Professionals on the “Silent Thief of Sight” - Prevent Blindness. Published December 27, 2023. Accessed December 30, 2023. https://preventblindness.org/2024-glaucoma-awareness-month/
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