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Regular testing for glaucoma can save sight
6:00am Wednesday 13th June 2012 in Features
Barbara Taylor from Canvey has her local optician to thank for saving her sight.
Now 63, Barbara was referred to Southend Hospital after a routine check-up revealed something was not right. She was diagnosed with primary open angle glaucoma, aged 59.
“The big thing with glaucoma is you don’t know. There was no pain, nothing to tell me it’s there and I had no symptoms. Fortunately, mine was found in time.”
Barbara is able to keep doing the things she loves.
“I apply two different eye drops every day, to reduce the pressure and lubricate the eye. I also had laser treatment, not to make my eyesight better, but to reduce the pressure in my eyes.
“I go every six months for a check-up and it doesn’t affect my life too much. I’m very lucky really.”
Julia Brazear, 63, from Colchester, initially assumed there was a problem with her car’s headlights, when she noticed she couldn’t see very well driving in the dark.
It turned out she had glaucoma, which was so bad she had to give up driving.
However, despite the changes this caused to her life, she maintains a positive outlook.
“I am regularly monitored and my sight has thankfully not deteriorated in the last 20 years. I cannot see anything at night, but I’m not totally blind, I still have useful sight and although my vision is restricted I have not let it deter my life.”
Both women are keen to stress the importance of regular eyesight tests, at least once every two years.
“If you are diagnosed, ensure you go to appointments and if you’re prescribed eyedrops then never miss a day.
“Every treatment you are given can keep it under control.” says Barbara.
“Without sight you are in a completely different world but there’s no need to lose your sight and your ability to drive”, says Julia, “get your eyesight tested and if a glaucoma test is not offered ask for it.”