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Judy shared her personal glaucoma story with us when she attended our 7th annual Glaucoma 360 meeting in February 2018. Judy is a Catalyst Circle donor supporting Glaucoma Research Foundation and our mission to cure glaucoma and restore vision through innovative research.
Judy Huang: I’ve had glaucoma now for about 12 years, and it has gotten progressively worse. I was looking for educational information on glaucoma, and time and time again I would come back to your site (www.glaucoma.org).
I was first diagnosed with glaucoma through my regular eye doctor. I’ve been nearsighted pretty much all my life. I moved back to the States from Asia in the early 2000’s. So, I had an appointment with [my eye doctor], and he thought that I had a little bit of a high pressure. So that’s when he referred me to a specialist, and by that time they actually found that I’ve had pretty progressive glaucoma in my right eye - a little bit less on the left. Since then, I’ve been on drops, I’ve been on SLT (laser treatment to lower eye pressure), and within the last six months is when I’ve had two surgeries in my eye.
Glaucoma has affected my eyes, initially, very minimally I would say. I haven’t lost enough sight to really notice. But through probably the last two or three years, I’ve had more progressive loss, and that’s when my doctor pushes me for this surgery.
I think what I’ve found is that sight is such an important thing that we don’t know that we have until we lose it. And through loss of sight, I try to pay attention to everything that I see - really to treasure everything that we see, versus focusing on the loss, and obviously trying to adjust to the loss.
You have a lot of fear about anything that’s a surgery touching your eyes, so therefore you prolong that inevitability of having surgery. So, I really feel that one thing I would like to share with others is to look for more aggressive means of stopping the progression of your glaucoma earlier on, especially if you’re earlier in your lifespan when you have glaucoma. That’s what I’d like to share.
It’s a diminishing return of a disease in the sense that it will progressively get worse. And so, to preserve sight, which is so key to quality of life, one needs to really look at curing glaucoma for that. I just think that folks need to donate to groups like this because it does fund early research. And, in order for advanced technology or a cure to be sought, one needs to support groups like this.
Last reviewed on June 29, 2018