Experts in the field weigh in on and give opinions on the question "What do you wish patients knew about eye health."
Our team spoke with several researchers and industry professionals at the 2023 American Society of Retina Specialists meeting in Seattle, Washington. We asked, "What do you wish patients knew about eye health?" Here's what Diana Do, MD, Tarek Hassan, MD, Paul Hahn, MD, PhD, had to say!
Editor's note - This transcript has been edited for clarity.
It's important that patients know retina specialists are there to help them and to preserve their vision. And it's key that patients who have vision threatening complications, such as diabetic eye disease or age -elated macular degeneration, I really encourage them to see their ophthalmologist and their retina specialist, because preserving and saving their vision will have a positive impact on their quality of life.
Early detection: So I think that, you know, we have still a problem, where folks don't think they need an eye doctor until they start losing vision. So many of the things that we take care of, whether it'd be macular degeneration or diabetic retinopathy, are so much better addressed, and our outcomes are so much better with these folks when they show up early. I think things like telemedicine and widefield fundus photography, they're now being more employed in optometry offices and even some primary care settings, has definitely helped, but I wish the general public knew that a dilated eye exam is important, even when you're young, but certainly once you reach your 30s and 40s. If, if you were able to get a dilated view of a person's retina, we'd be able to find things much earlier. And what's exciting is that they may even apply to dry macular degeneration in the future, in the near future. So early detection, and it's not just losing vision that should prompt you to go to the eye doctor.
Vision for patients is obviously important, but unfortunately, patients often take their vision for granted. And I think many patients have vision issues, and they don't think about the importance of seeing an eye doctor for those. I think for a lot of conditions, if we can catch them earlier and treat them earlier, they'd be better off. So what I wish patients knew is just with any concerns, see an eye doctor don't think it's gonna go away by itself.