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Editor's e-Note
Results from a national survey to determine the effect glaucoma has on patients and caregivers and assess their needs show that most struggle to control the disease, despite a rise in the availability of treatment and services. Responses of 1,548 adult patients and 60 personal caregivers, released by the Glaucoma Research Foundation, indicate that more than two-thirds believe the disease has an impact on their lives on a daily basis and more than three-fourths are very or extremely concerned about losing their vision.

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— Kate Jackson, editor
e-News Exclusive
Glaucoma Takes a Toll

Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to finding a cure for glaucoma, announces results from a national survey designed to assess the impact of glaucoma on patients and caregivers, as well as to identify their information and support needs.

Survey findings reveal that glaucoma impacts patients and their caregivers on a daily basis, and that many patients struggle to effectively control their disease.

“The information, support services, and treatments available to glaucoma patients have increased markedly in the past several years, but we know anecdotally that patients and caregivers still have difficulty managing the disease, its practical implications, and their fears related to it,” says Andrew Iwach, MD, GRF board chair and executive director, Glaucoma Center of San Francisco. “This survey helped us quantify current patient and caregiver experiences so that we can continue finding new ways to reduce the burden of the disease for everyone and to improve patients’ outcomes.”

A total of 1,548 adult glaucoma patients and separately, 60 glaucoma-patient family and friends who serve as caregivers, completed GRF’s National Glaucoma Impact Survey. Overall, findings confirm that glaucoma has a daily impact on the majority of patients and caregivers—not only because of the practical issues caused by medication management and vision loss but also because it creates anxiety, fear, and even depression for many. (Patient survey results are generalizable to Americans with glaucoma who met the survey entry criteria. Caregiver results are directional only, ie, the sample size [n=60] is too small to be generalizable to all glaucoma-patient caregivers in the United States.)

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