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 David Lally, MD, Nancy Lurker, J. Fernando Arevalo, MD, PhD, FACS, FASRS, and Kerrie Brady, BPharm, MBA, MS, had to say!
Editor's note - This transcript has been edited for clarity.
David Lally, MD: What I wish patients knew more about with regards to their eye health is, for whatever patient, you know, for whatever disease of the retina that patient has, I've found over the last 10 years that there's been incredible networks of those patients coming together and connecting together. And I have found through my experience with patients that they find a lot of value in finding and connecting with other people who share the same disease as they do. And it helps them in a multitude of ways, not just for counseling, but also for potential treatment options out there and how to manage your life if you're starting to lose your vision. So, if you have an issue out there with your vision, I'd first you know, recommend you go out there and find other people who share the same issue with you, and that can be Facebook groups, that can be finding these groups through support groups on the internet. But, but check out Facebook in checkout online and get connected to those people.
Nancy Lurker: I think the most important thing that I wish patients knew more about is number 1, there's really incredible hope on the horizon for the treatment of these diseases, and then I would say, the second thing is, the sooner you can get in to be treated, the better. And the more you could stay with your treatment regimen, the better off you're going to be.
J. Fernando Arevalo, MD, PhD, FACS, FASRS: I think one of the most important things that patients should know about eye health is for diabetics, specifically, diabetic patients should know that the longer they are diabetic, the higher the chance of developing diabetic retinopathy. And the longer they have the diabetic retinopathy and more advanced the diabetic retinopathy, the higher the chance of developing complications, including diabetic macular edema and retinal neovascularization. That can lead, lead to loss of vision. So, it is important that they come to the ophthalmologist for an evaluation at least once a year, and once they develop some of these complications, the evaluation is to be more frequent. I think this is key, and I wanted to emphasize and talk specifically about diabetic patients because they are sometimes not very compliant and have many issues to take care off with the eye. Obviously, it's very important.
Kerrie Brady, BPharm, MBA, MS: Oh, I think the biggest thing is to make sure patients are not only aware but they act on getting their regularly scheduled screenings going forward. You know, part of I think the challenge some patients have experienced in the past is just getting into the queue and making time to have those screenings. So you know, as the technology and tele retinopathy and other really important improvements move forward will make it easier for patients to get those regularly scheduled eye exams.