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Glaucoma Australia
October 2022

To celebrate World Sight Day The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital, has partnered with the World Association of Eye Hospitals (WAEH) to create a new animated eye drops application video to help patients living with glaucoma understand the importance of eye-drop treatment adherence. 

Image of Tu Nguyen

The experience of glaucoma patient, Tu Nguyen, demonstrates the vital role eye-drop compliance plays in preventing the rapid deterioration of vision loss for people living with glaucoma. 

At just 32, following the birth of her first child, Tu Nguyen was diagnosed with glaucoma after experiencing blurred vision and a throbbing pain in her eye. Ordinarily Tu would have soldiered on, but the pain in her eye was too debilitating to ignore. 

After being confronted by mixed messages online about the possibility of losing her sight completely, Tu was understandably anxious about the future. 

“For the first two years I lived in fear that I would never see my daughter’s face again,” says Tu.

Tu was initially prescribed eye drops to help reduce the pressure inside the eye and was meticulous about applying her eye drops properly. “My eye drops were the difference between keeping my vision or a rapid deterioration,” says Tu.

Since her glaucoma diagnosis, Tu has been a patient at the Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital for over five years - having lived with glaucoma for more than a decade.

It has been an ongoing battle to manage and stabilise her condition, having had 11 surgeries and laser treatments. Suffering from a very aggressive form of glaucoma, Tu lost nearly 90 per cent of her vision in her early 30’s. 

Despite Tu’s difficult journey with glaucoma, she has been committed to staying compliant with her treatment. 

“Many patients put their vision at risk by either not taking their eye drops regularly or not applying them properly. Compliance with glaucoma medications is as low as 21 per cent according to some studies. Teaching a standardised technique is key to avoid unnecessary surgeries and making sure the drops are administered correctly,” says Dr Atik, Glaucoma Specialist at The Royal Victorian Eye and Ear Hospital.

The last resort for Tu was a procedure to insert a tube into her eye, in order to reduce and stabilise the pressure. Since this surgery, her visits to the hospital have reduced from fortnightly to every 6-8 weeks. Tu feels she has benefitted from the collaboration of a large team of eye specialists, the wealth of knowledge, experience and different perspectives. 

“The surgeries have helped to prolong my vision, but eventually I will go blind. I feel safe in the hands at the Eye and Ear and know they are doing everything that can be done,” says Tu.

Correct use of eye drops is a shared responsibility between a patient and their health care support team. WAEH is proud to have developed a practical, patient centered resource that will benefit the eye healthcare of patients globally. The video forms a Patient Eye Drop Education Package to be used globally to teach a standardised technique for clinicians and patients - with the aim to improve compliance and health literacy. 

The theme for World Sight Day is #loveyoureyes and that is exactly the message they hope patients living with eye disease will get by watching this new instructional video.