Prevent Blindness Joins National Glaucoma Awareness Month in January to Educate the Public and Professionals on the “Silent Thief of Sight”
Prevent Blindness is once again participating in January’s National Glaucoma Awareness Month to provide patients, care partners, and professionals with a variety of helpful resources to educate on glaucoma, one of the leading causes of blindness in the United States. In addition to a dedicated webpage at PreventBlindness.org/glaucoma, Prevent Blindness offers a variety of downloadable fact sheets, including a listing of glaucoma financial assistance resources, shareable social media graphics in English and Spanish, and educational videos. These awareness month efforts are supported by funding from Glaukos.
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. To help support patients and their care partners, Prevent Blindness and Responsum Health offer “The Glaucoma Community,” a free, comprehensive platform available via a web browser or through a mobile app for Apple or Android users. Available in multiple languages, the program offers educational glaucoma content, a personalized 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 the dedicated Facebook group.
New this year is The Glaucoma Community Promotional Toolkit for healthcare and public health professionals. Included in the kit are:https://preventblindness.org/glaucoma-help.
• 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. All Glaucoma Community content is written by professional health writers and reviewed by the Expert Advisory Council for The Glaucoma Community. Program partners for The Glaucoma Community include the BrightFocus Foundation, The Glaucoma Foundation, Glaucoma Research Foundation, and the National Medical Association (NMA) Ophthalmology Section. As part of National Glaucoma Awareness Month, Prevent Blindness is debuting the new “Focus on Eye Health Patient Story: Glaucoma” video, featuring Prevent Blindness Associate Director of Eye Health Services, Tasha R. Lockridge, who shares 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. Additionally, 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” and “Information and Resources for Glaucoma Patients” episodes in the Prevent Blindness Focus on Eye Health Expert Series. “With early detection and adherence to treatment, sight can be saved from glaucoma,” said Mr. Todd. “We invite everyone to utilize our free resources to learn about glaucoma and the steps that must be taken today to preserve vision for years to come.” For more information and materials on glaucoma, visit PreventBlindness.org/glaucoma or the “Living with Glaucoma” resource from Glaukos at LivingwithGlaucoma.com. For information on glaucoma financial assistance programs in English and Spanish, please visit