More than 3 million people suffer from glaucoma in the United States today, and that number is expected to grow rapidly in coming years — to 4.2 million by 2030. While it’s preventable (with regular eye exams) and there are effective treatments, there is no cure, and it can be a daunting diagnosis for patients and their families.
If you or someone you love has glaucoma or is at high risk for developing it, here are 10 resources that can help answer questions and offer assistance in navigating life with glaucoma.
The Glaucoma Foundation
Dedicated to developing a cure for glaucoma, The Glaucoma Foundation raises and awards money for research and hosts an annual Scientific Think Tank that brings together scientists and clinicians to discuss the latest developments in glaucoma advances. It also provides a monthly newsletter and online support groups for people around the world.
EyeCare America provides those who qualify with free eye exams, including a glaucoma program to specifically screen for the disease.
Ears for Eyes
Enrichment Audio Resources Services, Inc. (EARS) provides free audio lessons that teach adaptive living skills to people with visual impairments and their families with a goal of maintaining independence. Lessons cover things like food preparation, laundry and managing medications with limited vision.
The American Foundation for the Blind
If glaucoma has resulted in vision loss, the American Foundation for the Blind provides a host of resources for families to find nearby services, accessible technology and more. Their mission: “removes barriers, creates solutions and expands possibilities so people with vision loss can achieve their full potential.”
BrightFocus Foundation helps people understand, manage and live with not only glaucoma, but also Alzheimer’s disease and macular degeneration. With facts and data about the diseases as well as information about clinical trials, it’s a useful resource for patients and caregivers alike. They also fund research, such as that devoted to cell replacement therapy for glaucoma.
Glaucoma Research Foundation
Dedicated to improving the lives of glaucoma patients and finding a cure, the Glaucoma Research Foundation provides information about the disease and treatment options. The organization also invests in research for a cure, such as The Catalyst for a Cure Biomarker Initiative.
The National Eye Institute
With a mission to “protect and prolong the vision of the American people,” The National Eye Institute has resources for a variety of vision-related diseases, including a glaucoma education program. With tools, tips and videos from health professionals and people living with glaucoma, there’s a wealth of information for those facing the disease.
Prevent Blindness also focuses on a wide variety of vision-related issues, including glaucoma. Of particular note is their publication Medicare Benefits and Your Eyes that provides useful information about which benefits may be available to prevent and treat glaucoma.
Choice Magazine Listening
Provided free of charge to visually impaired and physically disabled adults, Choice Magazine Listening provides a “talking magazine.” It includes everything from poems and short stories to interviews and essays read by narrators.
International Glaucoma Association
From a helpline to patient support groups, the International Glaucoma Association helps people around the world who are facing glaucoma. While many of their resources are targeted to people in Europe, there’s valuable information and research for anyone on their site.