If you have an eye condition your help can be invaluable in understanding more about eye conditions to improve diagnosis and treatment. You could for example, enroll in a clinical trial. New discoveries in the diagnosis and treatment of eye disorders depend hugely on the generosity and willingness of volunteers, both patients and the public. Your eye doctor will be able to advise you on what studies are going on locally.
If you want to learn more about research results, new clinical research trials or how research is carried out, you can find a local engagement event such as:
- Science festivals open to the public with debates and discussions on research
- Open day at a research centre where members of the public are invited to find out about research
- Television programmes, newspapers and social media posts that raise awareness of research
Patient and public involvement (PPI) in research means that research is being carried out ‘with’ or ‘by’ members of the public rather than ‘to’, ‘about’ or ‘for’ them. Opportunities include:
- Membership of an institution’s strategic or operational committees
- Influencing the design of a research project
- Identifying and prioritising research questions
- Offering advice as members of a project steering group
- Commenting on, developing and disseminating research findings and materials
More information about PPI can be found here.
If you don’t have an eye condition but are a carer or have a family member or friend with an eye condition and would like to contribute to research in eye health, there are ways of getting involved.
- Find a local organisation or support group that works with visually impaired people, such as: the Royal National Institute for the Blind, Fight for Sight, the Macular Society, Glaucoma UK, Retina UK and the Eye Care Trust.
- Check with your local hospital. Every NHS hospital has a research department which is part of the medical and governance directorate and will have a nominated contact person you can talk to.