I remember the spring of 2004 when I was in my last year as a resident at Wilmer resident. My mentor, Dr. David Friedman, had just published a landmark paper on the prevalence of primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) in the United States. In that article it was estimated that 3.36 million people would have glaucoma in 2020, up from the 2.2 million estimated in 2000.1 With the population exponentially rising and an increasing number of minorities, it is estimated that by 2050, 7.32 million people will have POAG.2
Fast forward from the time of my residency to now. I reflect on these questions: Where are we now? What does the future hold for glaucoma in 2020 and beyond? What have we done and what do we plan to do to ensure that our glaucoma patients maintain 20/20 vision in spite of their glaucoma?
TAKING ACTION AND INCREASING AWARENESS
We have dedicated this March 2020 Ophthalmology Management glaucoma issue to tackling some of the problems relating to glaucoma and to delivering practical steps on what we can do now, as well as discuss what promising tools are coming down the pipeline.
It’s also a timely edition as we celebrate World Glaucoma Week March 8-14, which was founded to increase awareness about glaucoma and encourage taking action. (Watch this video on a simple step you can take right now: https://youtu.be/G5dA3E9Icgc )
In this issue, you will find strategies and action steps to address the following:
- Earlier treatment methods utilizing laser (page 16) and surgical options (page 34) to reduce the burden on patients and help issues of noncompliance.
- Fostering the best central vision for glaucoma patients by offering advanced technology IOLs when applicable (page 20) and aggressive treatment of dry eye (page 38).
- Earlier glaucoma diagnosis with better diagnostic tools (page 26).
- Sharing in the care of glaucoma patients by adopting the co-management model with optometrists to expand our reach (page 44).
- Better communication + education = better adherence to management strategies (page 48).
At the core of great advancement are furthering education and better communication. These are so vital because increasing awareness from the patient’s perspective in diagnosis to the doctor’s perspective in management options is critical.
I invite you to gain more MIGS visual surgical knowledge for yourselves via the my iGlaucoma YouTube channel, MIGS University Video Series (bit.ly/2OoEeWM ). Also, look out for my upcoming book for your glaucoma patients, “Glaucoma. Expert’s 10 Best Solutions to Prevent Blindness. Learn the Risks and Save Your Sight.” We may not be able to stop the rising prevalence, but we can do something to prevent blindness through education.
I hope you dive into this edition of OM and find value in the words. 2020 is our year. Let’s make an impact by taking action! OM
- The Eye Diseases Prevalence Research Group. Prevalence of open-angle glaucoma among adults in the United States. Arch Ophthalmol. 2004;122:532-538.
- Quigley HA, Broman AT. The number of people with glaucoma worldwide in 2010 and 2020. Br J Ophthalmol. 2006;90:262-267.