I was diagnosed with Glaucoma in March 2019. (At 52 years old). Prior to that I was a “Glaucoma Suspect” since 2014 when my optometrist first used an Optical Coherence Tomography image to reveal that I had very thin optic nerves in both eyes.
Early on in 2014 I did suffer a lot of anxiety from the diagnosis of having thin optic nerves. I had conjured thoughts of not being about to drive for much longer and losing my independence. From 2017 I have relied on an existing commercial vehicle licence to earn a living and would have been bitterly disappointed if I had had to hand that in.
I was referred to an ophthalmologist around 2015 and visited every 6 months. By comparing results of tests over the next few years this would allow for a formal diagnosis.
Last year in March 2020 my ophthalmologist changed my drops to Ganfort (which is a mixture of two different drops) and I take one drop in each eye just before I go to bed. The drops were changed because the ophthalmologist had detected a small deterioration in one eye in the width of my optic nerve.
Very recently in May 2021, at a visit to my Optometrist he detected no change in my sight since March 2020 and made the comment and the drops are working fine. This is very encouraging.
I am maintaining my 20/20 vision and there is no talk of taking away my driver’s license. I am passing the Visual Field Tests with no problems - although the test always makes me nervous.
I don’t know what the future holds (does anybody?) but I am optimistic. I can tell you the following things have allowed me to maintain my eyesight with no further deterioration:
- Technology allows you to be diagnosed earlier before any sight is lost so always maintain regular eye checks especially if there is glaucoma in the family.
- Stick religiously to the treatment plan put in place by your ophthalmologist. You’ll have this condition for the rest of your life, but it can be managed.
- Be seen every 6 months by your optometrist or ophthalmologist
There are modern advancements in eye care every day so being diagnosed is the key to maintaining your sight, the earlier the better.
...I have relied on an existing commercial vehicle licence to earn a living and would have been bitterly disappointed if I had had to hand that in...Tony