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Glaucoma Information Centre

Dr. Shawn Cohen, Dr. Oscar Kasner, Marc Renaud and Carole Desharnais

Seeing eye to eye on glaucoma

A monthly clinic on glaucoma at the Jewish General Hospital is providing patients with a regular opportunity to get much-needed explanations on diagnosis and treatment straight from the experts.

The JGH has been collaborating with McGill University and the MUHC since the fall of 2006 to help individuals with glaucoma to control and stabilize their vision. “We want to educate patients on how to correctly handle their day to-day treatments,” says Dr. Oscar Kasner, Director of the Glaucoma Service at the JGH and Associate Professor in McGill’s Department of Ophthalmology.

One Monday afternoon a month, about 30 people gather in the Samuel S. Cohen Auditorium in Pavilion A for a presentation by Marc Renaud , a JGH ophthalmic technician and the project’s manager, Carole Desharnais, a JGH ophthalmic nurse, and Dr. Kasner. Mr. Renaud explains the causes and consequences of glaucoma, while Ms. Desharnais demonstrates how to properly administer daily eye drop medication. In the final portion of the session, patients can ask for specifics about their condition.

“When you leave here today, we’re hoping that all your questions about glaucoma will be answered,” says Mr. Renaud in introducing the sessions, which were patterned after similar diabetes information clinics in Canada and the U.S.

In Canada and the U.S., glaucoma affects 2.5 million people, many of whom are unaware they have the illness because its symptoms are not often apparent to anyone but a doctor. Nevertheless, since glaucoma can cause blindness, early diagnosis and treatment are crucial in minimizing potential damage to the optic nerve. Fortunately, glaucoma can be stabilized with eye-drop medication and other treatments.

The McGill Glaucoma Patient Education Centre is open to all.

This edition of Your Health – A Podcast of the Integrated Health & Social Services University Network for West-Central Montreal features a look at glaucoma and what the McGill Glaucoma Information Centre has to offer and The Steinberg Centre For Simulation And Interactive Learning at the Jewish General Hospital.