Glaucoma - the silent disease
July is Glaucoma New Zealand's annual appeal month, and its message is diagnosis.
Gulf Harbour pet-sitter Rose Clark was diagnosed with Glaucoma two years ago, at age 54.
With a family history of the sight-stealing disease, Clark made sure to get regular checkups.
Her mother was diagnosed with Glaucoma in her 30s, eventually losing an eye and having to wear a glass replacement.
Two of Rose's three brothers have also been diagnosed.
Clark's diligent checkups were within the normal range until 2014, when she was told her pressures were "not too good," and she was sent to a specialist.
Glaucoma was diagnosed in its early stages, and Clark emphasises the importance of regular checkups, especially if there is family history with the disease.
"It's such a silent disease. You wouldn't even know if you had it. I had no symptoms at all," she says.
"The sooner it's diagnosed, the better chance you have of keeping it at bay for longer."
With no cure, daily usage of eye drops is Clark's best bet for maintaining her eyesight, but deterioration is inevitable.
Clark says her son, nieces and nephews all get tested regularly.
Glaucoma affects 4.5 per cent of the world's population.
- Rodney Times