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Jan 12, 2021

FBC study shows gap in patient awareness and understanding of diabetic macular edema

Over a decade ago, anti-vascular endothelial growth factor (anti-VEGF) injections emerged as an effective treatment for diabetic macular edema (DME), the leading cause of blindness among working-age adults in North America. To ensure the best outcomes and to reduce vision loss, patients must undergo injections on a regular basis however, studies have shown that patients do not always stick with the treatment schedule. To understand more about why this might be the case, Fighting Blindness Canada undertook a study, the results of which have been published in the Canadian Journal of Diabetes.

One of the key findings from the survey was a lack of awareness among patients about their eye disease. In fact, despite testing multiple recruitment efforts, we were unable to recruit a large number of participants. Follow up showed that while most patients knew they had an eye condition, they weren’t able to identify it as DME. This lack of awareness is concerning as it can often lead to lower patient satisfaction as well as adherence to treatment.

This study highlights the importance of education for patients who have been diagnosed with an eye disease. However, simply providing information isn’t good enough. The information has to be provided at a time when a patient is ready to engage with it. For some individuals this might be at the time of diagnosis, while for others the diagnosis process can be overwhelming and confusing and they may want to instead receive information at a different time.

At Fighting Blindness Canada, we’re here to support you by sharing valuable information that is easy to access. Learn more about diabetic eye disease by checking out our diabetes eye disease resource page and viewing our View Point Diabetes webinar 3-part series:

Register for an upcoming View Point webinar at fightingblindness.ca/get-involved/virtual-events


If you have questions about your eye health, contact our Health Information Line at healthinfo@fightingblindness.ca or 1.888.626.2995.

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