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Bausch + Lomb, Glaucoma Research Foundation launch collaborative glaucoma campaign

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The eye care company and nonprofit organization are teaming up to provide educational resources, patient stories, and a fundraising challenge to help find a cure for glaucoma.

Woman undergoes tonometry Image credit: AdobeStock/eyeadobestock

(Image credit: AdobeStock/eyeadobestock)

One of the world’s leading eye care companies and a national nonprofit committed to curing glaucoma have teamed up to launch an awareness campaign to support research for a potential cure.

Bausch + Lomb Corporation and Glaucoma Research Foundation (GRF) announced in a press release that its “The Faces of Glaucoma” campaign will feature educational and diverse patient stories in an effort to raise awareness of the disease through the month of January, which is also Glaucoma Awareness Month.

“This year’s campaign will showcase the resilience of individuals living with glaucoma and highlight that anyone, regardless of background, age or gender can be impacted by this potentially sight-threatening disease,” said Andrew Stewart, President of Global Pharmaceuticals and International Consumer at Bausch + Lomb.

In addition to sharing patient stories and providing educational resources, The Faces of Glaucoma will match every dollar raised up to $20,000 to support GRF research.1 One of the nonprofit’s initiatives that it funds is Catalyst for a Cure, which since 2002 has provided direct funding to individual scientists with diverse expertise to work collaboratively towards finding a cure for glaucoma.

Catalyst for a Cure has targeted larger unknowns regarding glaucoma, including how to protect retinal ganglion cells, how to better detect glaucoma before significant vision loss, and what can be done to repair and restore vision lost to glaucoma, as discussed by Monica Vetter, PhD, Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurobiology and Anatomy at the University of Utah School of Medicine during a webinar.2

Catalyst for a Cure-funded findings include development of new ways to “see” dying retinal ganglion cells in human patients and discovery that degeneration involves oxidative stress, inflammation, and a decrease in metabolic resources. Discovering risk factors have also aided in the understanding of glaucoma, which include age, genetics, ethnicity, and elevated pressure in the eye.2

Still, glaucoma remains the leading cause of irreversible blindness. The early stages of glaucoma are typically missed by patients, since the disease’s symptoms start slowly. Of the 6.5 million cases of glaucoma in the United States, an estimated half of those patients are unaware that they have the disease.2

“That is because vision loss in glaucoma is progressive, and at very early stages, it is difficult to notice, but that does not mean that there’s not already damage happening, and this gradually progresses towards loss of vision,” Vetter said.

Since there is currently no cure, early treatment that can include the use of prescription eye drops can help prevent the progression of glaucoma. Diagnosis can also be caught early by an eye doctor in part of an annual comprehensive dilated eye exam.1

"By casting a spotlight on the various faces of glaucoma, we hope to create a deeper understanding of the broad range of individuals impacted while reminding people that paying attention to their vision by visiting an eye care provider annually can help preserve their vision for life," said Thomas M. Brunner, President and CEO of Glaucoma Research Foundation.

To learn more about the campaign, visit the Glaucoma Research Foundation's website.

References
  1. Bausch + Lomb and Glaucoma Research Foundation Launch Faces of Glaucoma Campaign. Press release. Published January 3, 2024. Accessed January 10, 2024. https://www.bausch.com/news/?id=192
  2. Sparking Innovation: Moving Closer to a Cure (Glaucoma Research Foundation Webinar). Webinar. Published May 3, 2021. Accessed January 10, 2024. https://vimeo.com/544758092
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