Lothian Glaucoma Patient Support Group

A new patient support group set up to support patients with glaucoma is the first of its kind in Scotland.

Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in UK and the world. Around 10% of UK blindness registrations are due to Glaucoma. The prevalence of glaucoma is around 10% for those over the age of 75 years. There are several management options for glaucoma patient to prevent blindness such as medicines in the form of eye drops, lasers and surgery. Because the disease is without any symptoms until late stages, initial detection and compliance with treatment are very important to prevent blindness. Studies have shown again and again patient education and confidence in the management is vital in the treatment of the condition.

A few of the most common questions most patients have about glaucoma are:

1) Can glaucoma cause blindness?
2) Can I drive with Glaucoma?
2) Are relatives more likely to get glaucoma than the average persons?
3) What do your medicines do for your glaucoma?
4) Is there a place for surgery in Glaucoma?
5) What is the role of lasers in glaucoma?

The best way to get answers to these question is to meet the experts and people who themselves have the condition. The Lothian Glaucoma patient support group, is the first of its kind in Scotland, organized by Dr Pankaj Agarwal, Consultant Ophthalmologist with the support of Dr Devlin and John Hughes from the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) The group has been set up as an extra resource for the patients not only from Lothian Health board region but also from neighboring area and rest of the Scotland, who require more information about their condition and to enable discussion between those who have the condition to share their own fears, concerns worries and hopefully be able to provide support to each other.

This is in response to the feeling amongst clinicians that as the patient numbers are rising, there is just not enough time to spend with each individual to explain their condition and its treatment. Patients need to feel that they have enough support, information about the disease and clear lines of access to further help after their appointments. Furthermore, it is hoped that the group will also act as a meeting point for patient’ friends, families and indeed anyone who wishes to learn about glaucoma and become more involved in their care and treatment.

The next meeting is planned for Friday 26th October, 2012 in St John’s Hospital, Livingston, West Lothian or contact lothianglaucoma@gmail.com for more information.

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