Roger Harris was told he had raised eye pressures, known as ocular hypertension, after a routine eye test. His early diagnosis and subsequent treatment have successfully kept glaucoma at bay.
I feel very fortunate that my high eye pressures were picked up before any damage was done to my optic nerves
I found out I had high eye pressures in both eyes at a routine eye test in December 2012. When the specialist told me I had raised pressures, I was extremely concerned that I had glaucoma or would inevitably get it, and that I would go blind.
The specialist was very reassuring and put me on eye drops straight away, despite glaucoma not actually being diagnosed. I played down my anxieties with my partner. I didn’t want to worry her unduly. I was also worried she might ask questions that I wouldn’t have the answers to.
The eye drops dramatically reduced my eye pressures to normal levels after six weeks. But due to the geometry of my eyes, I was advised to have laser treatment as it was likely that eye drops would only be a short-term solution for me.
After having a laser iridotomy in February 2013, the pressures in both eyes were normal and I was advised to trial six weeks without drops. This proved to be a success, and repeated scans confirmed that my optics nerves remained healthy. Over the last few years, my eye pressures started to creep up, so I was put back on eye drops in 2020 which has again reduced them to normal levels.
When I turned 70, I had to apply for my driving license renewal and so declared my eye surgery. I now have to do a DVLA eye test every three years to confirm I’m fit to continue driving. Other than that, my eye issues have not materially affected my loved ones, other than the alarm on my phone going off every day to remind me to put in my drops. I’ve told my two sons that they may have an increased risk of developing glaucoma, so they go for regular eye tests to check for raised pressures and any other signs of the disease. They were grateful to have been informed of the potential risk.
I would like to stress to everyone the importance of having regular eye tests. Though I was diagnosed with raised eye pressures nine years ago, my specialists have told me that I definitely don’t have glaucoma. I feel very fortunate that my high eye pressures were picked up before any damage was done to my optic nerves, and to have had such brilliant care. I am now continuing a journey of consultations and treatment to monitor and control my eyes pressures so that I don’t actually develop glaucoma.
Ocular hypertension (OHT) means that there is raised pressure within the eye, but that the eye is otherwise healthy. In glaucoma, there is usually high pressure as well as a damaged optic nerve and visual field loss. People with OHT are at increased risk of developing glaucoma, so they are therefore monitored closely and will have regular routine examinations. If you would like more information on OHT, order or download our free booklet ‘Ocular Hypertension’, or contact our helpline on 01233 64 81 70 or via email email@example.com. Lines are open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5.00pm.