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Art Takahara found out he had glaucoma 15 years ago during a routine eye exam. Thanks to regular care from a glaucoma specialist, his glaucoma is under control. Although his eye condition limits some of his daily activities, Art has never let it slow him down.
A former mayor of Mountain View, California in Silicon Valley, Art sings in a choral group, is a marathon runner, runs his own company, and volunteers on several non-profit boards, including the Board of the Glaucoma Research Foundation.
Art Takahara: It’s really kind of a very interesting story. It was probably about 15 years ago or so, one day I decided to go to the optometrist in Montgomery Ward, of all places, on a noon time and I decided I would just go down there and get a quick eye check.
And I was introduced to a gal who was going to do my testing and she says, “oh, I just got out of optometry school,” and I thought “oh, this is great, I’m getting somebody just new without any experience.”
But halfway through the examination she said to me, “You have a real problem. I think you either have glaucoma or some other disease, and I think you ought to go see a specialist.” And that’s when I went to see a specialist and found out I had glaucoma.
Looking back I could find out that there were many times, and a couple of auto accidents, in which I didn’t see cars coming from the left or the right side - and that was a consequence of losing that peripheral vision. But one never knows that when you don’t know you have any disease.
My message to those who have family members or friends who have learned that they have glaucoma is for them to try to understand for themselves what the disease is all about. And then I think the main thing is to try to encourage the person who has glaucoma that it is a disease that can be maintained so that it won’t get worse. And that with the research like the Glaucoma Research Foundation is doing, there is hope out there for a cure.
Last reviewed on September 14, 2015