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David’s story

David Hughes* was diagnosed with ocular hypertension following a routine eye test. He was encouraged to follow a daily eye drops routine to prevent his condition from developing into glaucoma.

(*Name has been changed to protect the author’s privacy)

I wasn’t prepared to simply accept the diagnosis and wanted more information.

My advice to anyone who has been diagnosed with ocular hypertension (OHT) is to take it seriously. If you need to take eye drops, get into a routine of using them every day and remember to take them with you when you travel. Most importantly of all, try not to worry – as long as you follow the treatment prescribed, there is every chance that your OHT can be controlled.

I was told I had increased eye pressures during a routine eye test in 2013, when I was aged 78. The optician referred me to the local eye clinic, where I was diagnosed with OHT and prescribed eye drops.

I wasn’t prepared to simply accept the diagnosis and wanted more information. There had been a passing reference to glaucoma which had worried me, so I asked them whether I had the disease. The ophthalmologist told me very firmly that I didn’t have glaucoma, but that the increased pressure was a warning that it could develop. I was encouraged to take it seriously and not to neglect using the eye drops.

I thought it would be useful to learn more about glaucoma as I knew nothing about it. I joined glaucoma UK (then called the International glaucoma Association) and have found it helpful. I had been given no instructions on how to use eye drops when I was first diagnosed, so glaucoma UK were able to offer me advice on how to effectively put them in.

After my diagnosis, I encouraged my children to have eye tests and one of my daughters was subsequently diagnosed with the same condition as me. At the time, she hadn’t experienced any issues with her eyes. She’s now on a similar treatment programme to me.

I have continued to have regular eye tests at the high street opticians and also regular check-ups at the eye clinic. The eye drops seem to be keeping my pressures under control, but I was told about a year ago that I needed cataract surgery in both eyes. I was amazed at how efficient the procedures were during the COVID-19 lockdown. I live about seven miles away from the clinic and on both occasions, the total time from having the operation and being driven to and from home was only 90 minutes!