SAN FRANCISCO, December 17, 2020 – Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma, today announced the release of a 6-minute video designed to encourage glaucoma patients to visit their eye care provider for the care they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. The free video, made with the support of Aerie Pharmaceuticals, entitled “See You Soon!” and is available for eye care professionals to share at https://bit.ly/GRFSeeYouSoon.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges, not the least of which has been the cancellation or delay of regular medical appointments,” said Tom Brunner, GRF president and CEO. “Eye care professionals have gone to great lengths to make modifications to their offices and procedures to allow them to see patients safely. Our goal is to help them communicate these changes, so that glaucoma patients feel comfortable visiting their care team to get the examinations or treatment that they need to manage their glaucoma effectively and preserve their vision.”
“See You Soon!” features prominent glaucoma specialists providing an overview of some of the new office features and protocols that patients may encounter when they plan and arrive for an in-person visit. It also describes their roles and responsibilities, including the need to answer screening questions honestly, the proper use of masks, and the need to maintain social distancing.
“While specific safety measures may vary from practice to practice, those highlighted in this video represent common protocols adopted by eye care professionals and their teams across the country,” said Andrew Iwach, M.D., GRF board chair and executive director, Glaucoma Center of San Francisco. “We hope giving eye care professionals a way to communicate these measures – and their commitment to patient and staff safety – will help patients understand that they don’t have to choose between protecting their health and protecting their vision.”
The video was inspired in part by the results of a GRF survey of more than 1,000 adult glaucoma patients conducted in May 2020. More than half of the patients (53 percent) surveyed said they had to delay and/or cancel a glaucoma appointment during the first months of the pandemic. Patients who had the lowest levels of confidence regarding their glaucoma management were 30 percent more likely to have had an eye care appointment delayed and/or cancelled as compared to patients with higher levels of confidence. For more about the survey, which was also supported by Aerie Pharmaceuticals, click here.
“We are proud to support GRF on these important initiatives,” said Richard Lewis, M.D., chief medical officer, Aerie Pharmaceuticals, and a practicing glaucoma specialist. “Helping eye care professionals communicate the importance of the in-person visit, and the measures that they have put in place to help make these visits safe, is part of Aerie’s ongoing commitment to supporting the physician-patient relationship, which is central to enhancing glaucoma care.”
Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, and vision loss from glaucoma is irreversible. Currently there is no cure, and everyone is at risk for developing this blinding disease. It is estimated that by 2040, 111 million people worldwide will have glaucoma.
About Glaucoma Research Foundation
Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma. For more than 40 years, Glaucoma Research Foundation has worked to advance sight-saving research and provide essential educational resources for patients. It funds critical research into glaucoma treatment, vision restoration, and a cure for glaucoma. It is also the leading source of information for glaucoma patients and their families. For more information, visit www.glaucoma.org.