The COVID-19 pandemic is changed the landscape of eye care services hugely. With non-essential hospital services on hold and most people with glaucoma self-isolating due to their age, the face to face care and support available to people with glaucoma has decreased enormously. Routine, non-emergency operations such as trabeculectomies have been delayed, meaning people may be facing an increased risk of sight loss. All glaucoma support groups have been cancelled or postponed indefinitely. We are aware this is an incredibly stressful time for many, and we want to ensure advice and support are available to all who want it.
We have decided to run a series of digital glaucoma support groups. Like a traditional support group, there would be a talk and an opportunity for people to ask any questions they have. We hope to run these with Glaucoma UK staff as well as external experts, such as an optometrist. Each webinar will follow a different theme, for example:
- Newly diagnosed with glaucoma: understanding and managing your condition
- Eye drops
- The glaucoma journey, and how COVID-19 is changing eye care
Anticipated dates and topics are listed below. All will be at 7pm and last one hour. The format will be a talk for around 30 minutes, with the remainder of time for questions. You will be able to see both the speaker and the slides. You can submit questions to the speaker via an in-built chat function. You won’t be able to see the other participants, and you won’t be visible. You can use any device which connects to the internet and has speakers – so a tablet, phone or laptop.
To join the events, email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your place. Booking is essential. We understand many people may be nervous about taking part in these webinars. It’s new territory for you, and us! If you sign up to the webinar, you will receive full joining instructions, and we will run a test session beforehand to help people understand how it all works and have a dry run.
We would like to thank AbbVie for their support in facilitating these sessions. Pharmaceutical company AbbVie, formerly known as Allergan, produce many glaucoma products, including Lumigan, Combigan and Ganfort eye drops and the Xen gel stent MIGS device.