I belong to a Facebook support group called “Different Kinds of Eye Conditions” and it’s in this group that I become acquainted with many different types of vision disorders. It’s good to be aware of what others have to cope with.
The eye disease I hear come up frequently through multiple mediums is Glaucoma. No wonder! It is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
I think this article on glaucoma (posted at www.visionaware.org, an excellent outreach website put out by the American Foundation for the Blind, by the way!) is very helpful. Since January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, I wanted to share it with you today. You can read the information HERE.
My father was diagnosed with glaucoma when he was around 76. I wasn’t living in the United States at that time to see how it affected him but knowing my dad, he didn’t let it change his lifestyle. It was probably in the early stages and was ignored.
I do remember one evening after dark when he was driving me to the airport for me to catch a flight back to the Middle East, he drove over a median strip, which scared my mom. I defended him.
We didn’t know that he had glaucoma, which, like RP, affects the peripheral (or side) vision in its initial stages. I don’t know if the reduced light contributed to that error in judgment or not but I suspect everything is more difficult at night.
I remember my sister putting drops in his eyes a few years later when he had his cancer because the pressure in his eyes were getting to him–along with everything else. I remember him mumbling that things were blurry. Up until that point, I saw my father as invincible. Glaucoma, as it turns out, kind of runs in his side of the family. I wondered if the cancer didn’t speed up the effects of his glaucoma.
When I was at the Malibu Life Center receiving some holistic treatment for my eyes, I met a man whose glaucoma had reached an advanced phase. He couldn’t read books anymore and seemed very discouraged. (That would definitely discourage me, too!) Back then juicing was a new, all-the-rave treatment. We talked about that, and other ways to “get back” some of his lost vision.
In the end, the most I could do was lend an ear. That, and give him a baseball cap from the United Arab Emirates as a memento of our long chat together!
(Appointments lasted 9:00 am – 5:00 pm at the Life Center, where we were receiving electromagnetic waves to our eyes though a machine the doctor there had invented, so patients got to know each other way better than at traditional ophthalmologist’s offices!). The wonderful doctor has since passed away. I never learned what happened to the glaucoma patient.
With the prevalence of glaucoma today, we probably all know someone who is suffering from it. It’s important to have regular eye exams, especially if one is known to be in a group susceptible to glaucoma, to catch it early, and if it is found, start immediate treatment.
What has your experience been with glaucoma? It’s nearly the end of January. Should you have it checked out?
Amy Bovaird is a Christian author who suffers from Retinitis Pigmentosa. a rare vision disorder resulting in blindness, and Usher’s Syndrome (includes progressive hearing loss). To read more of Amy’s writing, check out her memoir, Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith, available on Amazon, Createspace, and her website in regular-sized print, large print, kindle (and one day soon, in audio). You can get signed copies from my website.
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