Jan 18, 2016 News
– glaucoma patient Michael David
By Enid Joaquin
Many people are afraid of the dark, but those like Michael David live with a daily dread of a permanent darkness.
Michael David, 57, has been living with glaucoma for the past 28 years.
And for this Linden construction worker, it is a huge challenge.
Michael’s father also suffered from the disease and eventually became blind.
He was not as fortunate as his son who was diagnosed early and so begun a treatment regimen that spanned almost three decades.
“I was diagnosed with glaucoma when I was in Trinidad,” David said. “I was suffering with blurred vision and then when I looked at lights I would see rainbow colors around it I knew that was not normal, so I visited a nearby Health Centre.”
But the people at the Health Centre could do nothing, so they referred him to the local hospital.
Thus begun the regimen of eye-drops that has continued to this day.
Michael would spend about ten years in Trinidad before returning to Guyana.
He says it has not been easy.
“For the past few years I’ve been attending clinics at the Mackenzie Hospital, but most of the time I cannot get the requisite drops there, and I have to go to Georgetown. This is really hard on me, because the drops are expensive and on top off that I have to find passage back and forth. Having to purchase the drops, plus travel expenses, is not easy on the average man. If you are working for the minimum wage, that is almost half your salary right there.”
Despite the challenges, Michael says that he has no option but to buy the drops.
“My father went blind, because he was diagnosed late- actually it was less than ten years after his diagnosis that he went blind. The advantage I have, is the early detection which enabled me to access treatment before the condition got worse”.
Mr. David admits that the possibility of him going blind is a very real and frightening one, but one that he is not willing to accept.
“I live with the knowledge that I can go to bed and awaken and yet be in the dark, but I hope and pray never to have to experience that. I have done quite a bit of travelling and seen and experienced quite a lot of things, so I don’t think I can cope with that. And my line of work too, which is building construction, demands that I have good vision.”
According to medical research Glaucoma is a disease that damages the eye’s optic nerve. This damage occurs when fluid builds up in the front part of the eye, thereby increasing the pressure in the eye and damaging the optic nerve in the process.
It is said to be the leading cause of blindness for people, but early diagnosis and treatment can prevent this.
The disease develops and progresses silently and can gradually rob you of your eyesight as usually there are no early symptoms.
Fortunately, glaucoma eyedrops, glaucoma surgery or both) can help preserve vision.
There are several types of glaucoma, according to research, but Open-angle glaucoma is reportedly the most common.
According to reports open-angle glaucoma is the most prevalent form of glaucoma in Guyana and Afro-Guyanese are more prone to develop this disease. They are also more likely to have family members suffering from glaucoma.
The disease is also reportedly very severe and more difficult to treat in these patients. According to research from reputable medical sources, open-angle glaucoma has no symptoms in its early stages and vision remains normal. However as the optic nerve becomes more damaged, blank spots begin to appear in your field of vision. These blank spots would not become noticeable until the optic nerve is significantly damaged and the spots become enlarged. Should all of the optic nerve fibers die, blindness results.
It has also been noted that a single eye pressure test will miss many people who have glaucoma. So in addition to routine eye pressure testing, it is advisable that the optic nerve be examined by an ophthalmologist for proper diagnosis.
Research also indicates that half of patients with glaucoma do not have high eye pressure when first examined as eye pressure is not always the same.
Methods of treatment.
Over the past years, patients have been exposed to two common methods of treating glaucoma here in Guyana. One is by medication (eye drops) or by surgery. But there is also laser treatment which provides open-angle glaucoma patients with a third option for treatment.
However laser treatment for glaucoma is not recommended for all patients, reports indicate.
Jan 16, 2021Kaieteur News – Some of the city’s top dominoes teams will go into action today when Senior Organising Secretary of the Guyana Dominoes League Mark Wiltshire birth anniversary dominoes...
Jan 16, 2021
Jan 16, 2021
Jan 15, 2021
Jan 15, 2021
Jan 15, 2021
Kaieteur News – I repeat the following words that I wrote in my column, “Afro-Guyanese in 2020: Bonfires of deceit,”... more
Kaieteur News – The President of Guyana, Dr. Irfaan Ali, should carefully consider the continued involvement of Mr.... more
By Sir Ronald Sanders Kaieteur News – Recent events in Washington, the revered capital of the United States of America,... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]