While most Australians are getting on with their lives, we in Melbourne and much of Victoria are deep in a second lockdown. Glaucoma patients who require eye health checks, in particular those who have deferred routine appointments during lockdown 1.0, are now faced with a tough choice between the risks of accessing healthcare or further deferment of an important glaucoma check-up. These are difficult decisions and it is my privilege as a glaucoma specialist to talk to my patients via Telehealth and help them make sensible health choices.
I encourage all Australians with glaucoma, or those suspected with glaucoma, not to neglect or unduly defer their eye health checks. Glaucoma is the sneak thief of sight and can cause irreversible damage to our vision; this may not be immediately apparent in daily life. Regular eye health checks are crucial to prevent loss of vision, as well as strictly adhering to eye drop regimens. I encourage people with glaucoma who are uncertain what to do during this health crisis to contact their eye health provider and discuss their treatment and monitoring programs – and to ensure they don’t run out of scripts for eyedrops which can be posted.
Over the past few months, despite many challenges and obstacles, Glaucoma Australia has continued to function admirably and provide support to people with glaucoma – I am grateful to our staff for their amazing energy and dedication.
A/Prof Simon Skalicky
President, Glaucoma Australia