World Glaucoma Awareness Week: patient survey brings to light less known aspects of the disease

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World Glaucoma Awareness Week

To support World Glaucoma Week, IMO Grupo Miranza is giving voice to the patients. In February 2021 we conducted a survey amongst 400 patients and as World Glaucoma week starts today we take the opportunity to share some of the insights. We hope that these bring awareness of what living with such a chronic disease is really like and highlight the importance of a timely diagnosis.

The survey “Living with Glaucoma” inquired about the quality of life of the affected patients and revealed many non- medical aspects of the disease which are less known.

Profile of the patients who took part in the survey

63% of the people surveyed are diagnosed with glaucoma while 37% of them suffer from ocular hypertension. There is an equal split between men and women, which demonstrates that this disease affects both genders equally. However, 80% of the surveyed patients are more than 50 years old which highlights once more the importance of regular check-ups, especially for those after the age of 50.

How does a person with glaucoma see?

On the left hand side we see how a healthy indivisual sees and on the right hand side we see how a person with advanced glaucoma sees. The effect is only perceived as the disease progresses, that is why glaucoma has been called the ““sneak thief of sight”.

62% of the patients surveyed confirm that the disease affects their daily activities

Probably one of the most relevant insights from the survey, is the fact that about 62% of the patients, confirm that the disease affects their daily activities. Specifically, the most affected ones are the following:

- Driving (18,3 %)

- Reading (12,6 %)

- Job related (8,2 %)

- Hobbies (5,9 %)

- Family life (5,7 %)

- Sports (2,5 %)

Additionally, 40% confirm that they miss certain activities that they had to stop doing altogether, because of their glaucoma diagnosis.

Day to day support

Low vision training for glaucoma patient

Low vision tool for glaucoma 

Another aspect that the surveyed patients highlighted, is the type of support they are looking for, for managing the illness. The majority of them (75.5%) confirms using medication against ocular hypertension, while others have tried neuroprotection interventions (6.3%) or other types of support such as low vision tools (3.4%), yoga or meditation (3.2%) or vitamin supplements (2.4%).

More than half of the patients has experienced an emotional impact

53% of the patients confirm that the disease has caused them an emotional impact and 10% out of them, has developed a psychological condition because of their glaucoma diagnosis. It is really important to be aware of this less publicised aspect of glaucoma and ask for help as needed.

An early diagnosis is key

Glaucoma is known as the “sneak thief of sight”. This is because the majority of patients that start suffering from the disease, they do so without any symptoms. This is why it is very important for everyone, especially for those who are at high risk for developing the condition, to have regular check-ups. The aim is to have an early detection of glaucoma or any of its risk factors, such us ocular hypertension. If you have any concerns that you may be having glaucoma, book an appointment with one of our glaucoma experts.