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.