Saturday, April 5, 2008

Glaucoma experts accentuate the positive

Keep hope alive.

That was the message from Reay H Brown, MD, at the ASCRS Glaucoma Day held yesterday.

Dr Brown, addressing a session on The Business of Glaucoma, said the biggest challenge for doctors treating glaucoma patients was staying positive.

"Patients fear they are going blind," said Dr Brown. "Let us break the fear cycle and replace it with a hope cycle."

Dr Brown told delegates that most of the news on glaucoma outcomes was positive. Treatment is successful, most patients maintain vision and doctors can make a huge difference, he said.

He called on doctors to enjoy glaucoma care by recognising the challenges.
"Doctors fear they are not doing enough," he said. "We don't pay enough attention to patient fears and our own fears."

The key to breaking the fear cycle, he said, was for doctors to control the conversations with their patients. They should emphasise the success of glaucoma therapy, he said, and stay positive when talking to patients.

"If we feel optimism and hope," he said, "patients will too."

Dr Brown concluded his presentation by encouraging doctors to leave the patients with hope.

"Create a hope cycle," he said. "Giving hope to patients will give you hope too."

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