The Importance of Vision Preservation in Patients With Glaucoma

A brief overview of vision preservation in glaucoma and the importance of preventing peripheral vision loss and patient falls.


Neil Minkoff, MD: Let me pull it back to Dr Stephens for a second, which is one of the questions that I would ask is one of the things that we talk a lot about in our field is population health and trying to maximize how well a population does. Normally, when we talk about it, we’re talking about diabetes and cardiac disease, or something like that. But, in a case like this, there’s clearly a burden to the patient, the caregiver, and society. Where is the payor fitting in with this in terms of trying to get earlier treatment and vision preservation?

Kevin Stephens, Sr., MD: Thank you. That’s a very good question. The first thing is again, as mentioned earlier, the HEDIS [Health Care Effectiveness Data and Information Set] and Star measures, they all require, particularly in diabetics, to have annual eye exams and so forth. We have to really push to get eye exams to people so we can make the early diagnosis because, in this case, as mentioned earlier, prevention and early treatment is critical. But you know, the other thing that happens is that many times people when they have vision problems, they have problems driving, more likely they end up in an accident because of their visual field deficits. And many times, they even fall. And we know that when people fall in their homes, a third of them die from complications from the falls. Particularly in the elderly and also age, that we really take a lot of time, and energy, and effort to make sure that they have good vision, as well as we take care of the whole person, just not the vision but the health care delivery system. It’s a very important burden and it’s a very important disease that we all need to be much more proactive in this.

Transcript edited for clarity.

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