Glaucoma: Pam Form Tauranga Shares her Experiences
Pam Band(age57) from Tauranga tells her story about Glaucoma
When did you first suspect something was wrong?
“At the top of my eyelid there was this spot that was blurred. It was like looking through an oval-shaped frame. I remember thinking ‘have I put my mascara on too thick?’ It felt like mascara may have bulked up on my eyelashes causing a shadow. But then I’d get on and forget about it for a while.”
How were you diagnosed with glaucoma?
“I wasn’t aware of it at all until I had an eye examination with Mike at Langford Callard about 3 years ago.”
How did you feel about having glaucoma?
“It was quite a shock. I always did a lot of sewing and could see things in great detail – right down to 1mm. But over time I realised I was actually holding my sewing closer and closer. You don’t even realise it’s happening. That’s the hard thing.”
How do you manage your condition?
“I’ve got eye drops which I have to take permanently. It’s about adapting. The bottom line is I’m blessed to have both eyes. I don’t want to lose sight in one eye altogether so you just have to have the right treatment.”
July is Glaucoma Awareness month
Glaucoma is the number one preventable cause of blindness in New Zealand. Around 68,000 New Zealanders over the age of 40 currently have glaucoma, but half of those won’t even know they have it.
Your eye’s optic nerve is like a cable that connects your eye to your brain. It transmits signals which the brain then processes into visual images. Glaucoma occurs when the optic nerve fibres begin to die off – starting with your peripheral or side vision first.
While glaucoma can’t be cured, it can be actively managed to prevent further damage.
Eye examinations for Glaucoma are recommended every five years from the age of 45, and every three years from age 60. But if you notice changes in your eyesight at any age, then get it checked immediately.
A special thanks to Pam Band for sharing her experience with Glaucoma – Mike.
TAURANGA EYECARE by Langford Callard are designated examiners for the NZ Police, the Civil Aviation Authority, Maritime NZ and the NZ Defence Force.