Peter was diagnosed with glaucoma at the age of 32. He mentioned he thought something was wrong during an eye test, and thankfully his glaucoma was detected early. He has not let his diagnosis impact his life.
Don’t panic, be positive and hang on to the eyesight you have got. Glaucoma does not have to affect your life.
I was diagnosed with glaucoma in 1987, at the age of 32. I remember thinking glaucoma was something people in their seventies and eighties suffered from, and that it wasn’t something you get in your early thirties.
I had begun to wear glasses and informed the optician that I was having problems with them. He told me there was nothing wrong with my vision, other than I needed to start wearing glasses. I wasn’t happy with his response and asked if I could be sent for further tests, as I felt the issue was more than just myopia.
I was sent to the local hospital and tests were done to check for glaucoma. It transpired that the pressures in my eyes were high and my glaucoma diagnosis was confirmed and treated quickly.
I was in shock and totally bewildered. There was no history of glaucoma at all in my family, so I found it hard to comprehend that I could have it.
I was put on drops immediately to reduce the pressure. In those days, information was scarce, but I found out as much information about glaucoma as I could, thanks to my consultant and Glaucoma UK.
I am lucky that my day-to-day life has not been affected too much. This has mainly been due to establishing a means of virtually total compliance with treatment. I have a very positive attitude to life and have carried on as I did before my diagnosis. I work full time, play cricket, and am an honorary steward at Wimbledon. I drive a supercharger sports car, have maintained my flying licence and have a share in a Piper Warrior plane. Until recently I was a roadie with a rock band. I could not do any of this if it wasn’t for my three doses of eye drops per day and a degree of luck. I am grateful to all the people in the medical world that have made this happen for people like me. Glaucoma could have impacted most, if not all, of the above. As could not being compliant.
I make audio tapes of the local paper for blind people, which I enjoy immensely. I also give talks in my local area about glaucoma, which I’m delighted to do. Talking about glaucoma and my experience of it, and doing anything that helps to prevent others from any kind of sight loss due to the disease, is my absolute mission.
I find it satisfying knowing that I am helping others to understand glaucoma and the more I can do to help, the better.
My message to anyone diagnosed with glaucoma is: “Don’t panic, be positive and hang on to the eyesight you have got. Glaucoma does not have to affect your life.”