Maureen's fight for sight

14 April 15

written by:

Heather Fanning

(more articles)

Maureen was diagnosed with glaucoma in 2008 after an appointment at her local opticians.

Maureen was getting blurred vision and thought that her glasses prescription had altered, so called into her opticians. They carried out a test revealing that she had glaucoma and was referred to her nearest hospital.

She said: “When they diagnosed me I just felt terrible because I only knew the word glaucoma but I didn't know what it involved. I didn't know I had lost sight.”

As well as glaucoma Maureen was also diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes and was told she could go blind.

“I thought I would go blind almost immediately – I thought it would be within a week. The consultant told me that I needed to attend regularly hospital visits from that point onwards.”

In January 2010 Maureen had a cataract operation in her right eye and her left eye was operated on a month later. This made a huge impact on her sight – it was a miracle – everything was much clearer than before.

Maureen had been controlling the glaucoma through prescribed eye drops, after using them for three years, nothing seemed to work to help reduce the pressure at the back of the eye. In 2012, Maureen was offered a procedure, called trabeculectomy. This involved making a hole in both eyes to relieve the pressure and let the fluid drain to help reduce this.

In terms of Maureen’s vision she still has some loss of sight at the top of her eyes due to the glaucoma. Plus, she experiences some friction when blinking, so uses lubrication and a night-time ointment to keep the discomfort at bay. The condition also prevents Maureen doing hobbies such as; yoga, pilates, swimming.

Maureen: “I support Fight for Sight because they are a very good charity and they do such good work in bringing notice to the people who count. There’s so many eye diseases that I didn't know about - glaucoma is just one in so many hundred I would think. I think anyone who brings it to the forefront like Fight for Sight is doing a marvellous job and hopefully they will get the research money that they need to do more.”

Glaucoma

What is it?

Glaucoma is the name for a group of eye conditions that cause sight loss because of damage to the optic nerve. This is the specialised cable that sends signals from eye to brain.

Sight lost to glaucoma cannot be recovered. It’s the second most common cause of blindness in the world after cataract.

If glaucoma is detected early, treatment can do a lot to lower the risk of losing more vision. Regular eye tests can help to spot glaucoma early.

Find out more