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    How ODs can help combat depression in glaucoma patients

     

    What you can do to identify depression

    Because optometrists are increasingly responsible for the management of glaucoma and other sight-threatening diseases, you may see more patients who are suffering from depression as their condition worsens.

    Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member Michael Chaglasian, OD, FAAO, says it is understandable that patients with rapidly declining vision would experience depression, but it’s a concern that is often overlooked by ODs.

    “Optometrists often are not well trained in how to identify depression during patient exams,” he says. “Given the increasing role of ODs in managing patients with glaucoma, having a resource tool like the GDS can efficiently add a screening for depression.”

    Related: Managing glaucoma in women

    Dr. Chaglasian recommends utilizing the GDS (which you can find HERE) to help identify depression in these patients. Once identified, ODs can refer those patients to a mental health professional to get the help they need.

    “It is important for us to remember that there are more aspects to glaucoma than just trying to lower the eye pressure,” he says.

    Optometry Times Editorial Advisory Board member Ben Casella, OD, FAAO, agrees, saying that this study shows that glaucoma robs patients of their quality of life along with their vision.

    “It is important to recognize the benefits of educational and social resources for the visually impaired in our communities,” he says. “Truly, every patient is so much more than a pair of eyes, and, as optometrists, we often find ourselves on the front lines of such major life changes.”

    Click here to find the latest glaucoma news and advice from your colleagues

    Colleen E. McCarthy
    Colleen McCarthy is a freelance writer based in the Cleveland area and a former editor of Optometry Times. She is a 2010 graduate of the ...

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    • Anonymous
      Iatrogenic Glaucoma? Beta Blockers and CAI's list depression as known side effects. Perhaps Prostaglandins should be studied for a possible link to depression.
    • Anonymous
      Iatrogenic Glaucoma?
    • Anonymous
      Iatrogenic

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