October 8, 2020 / All Stories

Shining a light on glaucoma and eye health

Millions are blind because of glaucoma but connecting with patients sooner could help them get to a doctor before they lose their vision.

Star power support

Best known for his tough play on defense for the Denver Broncos, or even his fancy footwork on "Dancing with the Stars," Von Miller has a soft spot for people living with vision-related diseases. For the Super Bowl MVP, eyecare is personal.

“When I was a kid, I struggled with my vision. It made it hard to pay attention in school,” Miller shares. “Because of that difficulty when I was young, today I’m really passionate about helping people who suffer from any vision issues.”

NFL player Von Miller struggled with his vision in his youth, and now helps raise awareness of vision-related diseases.

Miller has partnered with Allergan, an AbbVie company, to help educate people on the seriousness of one specific eye condition – glaucoma – through the My Glaucoma campaign. It’s estimated more than four million people around the world are blind as a result of primary glaucoma, that’s more than 12 percent of all global blindness.1

“Through this partnership, I have the ability to shine the light on the impact of glaucoma, and helping people understand it’s not just a part of growing old. It can make everyday things, like driving or making dinner, really hard,” says Miller.
 

Helping the most vulnerable

There’s even more work being done to reach people around the world. Allergan also partners with the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness and Sightsavers, a non-profit whose goal is to prevent avoidable blindness and save the sight of some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

The program is called Keep Sight where Allergan helps to provide training for eyecare professionals in Nigeria and India to screen high risk populations, ensure early and accurate diagnosis and provide appropriate care to make a positive impact on people at risk or living with glaucoma.

In just one year, ophthalmologists conducted more than more than 12,000 eye screenings and referred more than 1,000 glaucoma-related cases.
 

Seeing the science

On top of making more people aware of the difficulties that glaucoma can cause, Allergan is dedicated to researching and developing innovative solutions to preserve people’s vision. Leading the charge since 2005 is Mike Robinson, MD, vice president, clinical development, ophthalmology. Prior to joining Allergan, Robinson was a clinical staff fellow at the National Institutes of Health, but it’s the emotional moments of patient care that drive him to continue looking for new ways to restore people’s vision.

“There is such great satisfaction after removing a blinding cataract in a patient and seeing them cry tears of joy the next day when they realize their vision has returned,” says Robinson.

Michael Robinson, M.D., helps lead clinical development for ophthalmology at Allergan, an AbbVie company.

He combines his years of caring for patients with his passion for science. Robinson believes ophthalmology is the perfect fit. “I was drawn to eye health and vision restoration because of the rich history of innovation this area of medicine holds,” says Robinson. “Ophthalmology is even in the forefront of stem cell research and regenerative medicine, which is exciting for the future of eye care.”
 

Focused on eye innovation

While eye care may seem simple, with many vision issues being solved by people wearing glasses contact lenses, or even using eye drops, the reality is what works for some does not work for others. One of the areas Robinson has been focused on in his research has been addressing the challenge of glaucoma patients not managing their eye health correctly and losing their vision.

“We continue to look for solutions in our clinical trials. Our goal has been and continues to be identifying ways to meet people where they are in their ability to preserve their vision, and our clinical trials are looking at ways to provide glaucoma patients additional options,” says Robinson.

Robinson and his team’s work isn’t over. They continue to collaborate with key opinion leaders in the field of glaucoma care while also connecting with people living with glaucoma and their caregivers so they have access to resources so they can better understand their eye health.

“We will always incorporate patient needs into our science and partnering with well-known voices in eye care like Von Miller to frontline ophthalmologists will allow us to help more people continue to see clearly.”

References:

  1. Priority eye diseases. https://www.who.int/blindness/causes/priority/en/index6.html. World Health Organization. Date Accessed September 15, 2020. Date Published April 18, 2018.

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Lisa Kim
Email: Kim_Lisa@Allergan.com
Call: +1 714-474-7050
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