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Aaron Smith, Omalola Idowu, Jordan Burnham; Glaucoma Awareness in Patients Diagnosed with Glaucoma. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2015;56(7 ):5023.
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To evaluate the knowledge of the glaucoma disease process and risk factors among glaucoma patients at the University of Mississippi Medical Center glaucoma clinic. To specifically assess if glaucoma patients were being told that their siblings and children need screening for glaucoma.
A voluntary survey was offered to 31 persons with a known diagnosis of glaucoma. Questions assessed their basic knowledge of the disease and risk factors. Specific questions asked if glaucoma patient had ever been told to notify their siblings and children about their need for screening.
A total of 31 persons were surveyed with glaucoma including 23 African Americans and 8 caucasions. The range of time since diagnosis among those questioned was 1 year to 30 years with an average of 13 years among all patients. Of those surveyed most patients had a good understanding about the disease process and risk factors. 71% however lacked knowledge about the increased risk with age over 60 years of age. 38% of patients were unaware of the increased risk among the African American population and surprisingly 72% of these patients were African American. Greater than half of those surveyed(57%) had never been told to notify their family about their need for screening. 100% of patients surveyed knew that glaucoma ran in families but still only 60% of them had notified their family members of their need for screening. This discrepancy completely dissapeared in the persons that had been notified to tell their family. Of the remaining 40% that had been specifically told to notify their family of the risk and need for screening 100% complied.
Glaucoma patients have a good basic knowledge of the glaucoma disease process, but lack a good understanding of the risk factors associated with glaucoma specifically age and african american race. Glaucoma patients are not adequately telling their families of their risk despite understanding that the disease runs in families. This lack of communication between family members was completely reversed with someone specifically telling patients to notify their family of the risks. This responsibilty falls soley on eye doctors and other medical professionals. All glaucoma patients should recieve indepth counseling to ensure they understand their risks. During counseling all glaucoma patients should be told to discuss with their family their risk of disease and need for screening.
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