Glaucoma is a group of diseases that damage the optic nerve, the part of your eye that carries information from your retina to your brain. The condition can slowly cause loss of vision and even blindness if not treated.
The internet is an excellent tool for researching topics like glaucoma. However, unfortunately, you can’t always believe everything on the internet. For example, there are unsubstantiated claims boasting of “cures for glaucoma.” Currently, there is no cure for glaucoma, so identifying sources is essential.
Keep reading to learn more about where you can find accurate and credible information about glaucoma and how to evaluate the quality of the material.
Evaluating the Quality of Information About Glaucoma
When evaluating the quality of information about glaucoma, it’s essential to consider the following factors:
The source of information is crucial in determining its credibility. Information from reputable organizations is much more likely to be reliable and trustworthy.
Medical information can change quickly, so it’s important to have access to up-to-date information.
Trustworthy information should be supported by evidence from credible sources, like peer-reviewed scientific journals or clinical trials. Conversely, information not supported by evidence should be treated with skepticism.
Conflicts of Interest
Conflicts of interest may impact the credibility of information. For example, the information provided by a company that sells glaucoma treatments may not be objective.
Credible Information Sources
One of the most reliable sources of information about glaucoma is your healthcare provider. Ophthalmologists and optometrists — medical professionals who specialize in eye care and can diagnose and treat glaucoma — can answer your questions, provide educational materials, and offer recommendations for treating and managing glaucoma.
Professional organizations, like the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) and the American Optometric Association (AOA), provide comprehensive and up-to-date information about the causes, symptoms, and treatments of glaucoma. Panels of experts review and approve the information, ensuring it’s accurate and reliable.
Government websites, like the National Eye Institute (NEI) and the National Eye Health Education Program (NEHEP), are trustworthy sources of information about glaucoma. They provide educational materials and resources for patients and healthcare providers, including the latest research and treatment options.
Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF), the American Glaucoma Society (AGS), the Glaucoma Foundation (TGF), and the BrightFocus Foundation are organizations dedicated to finding innovative treatments, and a cure for glaucoma.
A recent study, titled “What Glaucoma Patients Are Reading on the Internet: A Systematic Analysis of Online Glaucoma Content,” published in the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s peer-reviewed Ophthalmology journal gave GRF’s glaucoma.org website high marks in all areas measured. The National Institutes of Health offers a summary of the study.
The study reviewed the top 15 websites that resulted from a Google search of “glaucoma” — independently evaluated by three glaucoma specialists for content, accuracy, and navigability. The glaucoma.org website was rated highest in content, accuracy, and quality in this independent evaluation.
Glaucoma is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, and it’s estimated to affect more than three million people in the US alone. Because glaucoma often progresses slowly, people with glaucoma can lose most of their vision before they even experience symptoms. However, central vision, which allows us to do things like read, drive, or watch TV, is unaffected until the disease is advanced.
While there is no cure for glaucoma yet, the key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early detection, diagnosis, and treatment.
Help Us Find a Cure
The diligent work of researchers continues to lead to a better understanding of glaucoma for all people. As a result, there’s great hope for new and improved treatments, including superior drug delivery methods, laser treatments, and less invasive surgical techniques. While there’s no cure for glaucoma, research continues to bring us closer to finding a cure and restoring vision loss from glaucoma.
Every contribution helps bring us closer to finding a cure for glaucoma. Whether you donate cash or stock, create a fundraising event, or even donate a vehicle or boat, your donation will give hope to those living with glaucoma and accelerate our research.
Posted on March 1, 2023