World Glaucoma Week – Michael’s story

This week is World Glaucoma Week 2024. A week dedicated to raising awareness of glaucoma and the importance of detecting it early.

Glaucoma describes a group of eye diseases that damage the optic nerve. Pressure increases in the eye, due to fluid build up in the front part of the eye.

According to the World Glaucoma Association (WGA), there are currently an estimated 78 million people diagnosed with glaucoma globally. The number of people impacted by glaucoma is expected to increase in the coming years, with projections indicating that over 111.8 million people will be affected by 2040.

Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide and is often asymptomatic in it’s early stages. However, routine eye tests can easily detect it.

We spoke to Michael Parkinson, Lancashire Sight Loss Council member, about his glaucoma diagnosis.

Michael’s story

Photo of Micahel Parkinson, Lancashire SLC member. Michael is outside, wearing a khaki life jacket over a blue coat. He is wearing a khaki cap and black sunglasses.“I routinely see a consultant at my eye hospital to address several issues with my eyes. Ten years ago, during a routine appointment, the doctor informed me that my eye pressure was raised.

“Doctors told me that this increased internal pressure could cause sight loss and potential blindness. Treatment could stop the damage from worsening, although it couldn’t reverse it.

“At first, my glaucoma diagnosis devastated me. The hospital was addressing other issues to save my sight, and I now faced the prospect of permanent, incurable sight loss.

“I was very grateful it had been caught early as glaucoma is a symptomless condition. Because of this, my diagnosis could be managed.”

Every day life

“Glaucoma affects both my eyes, despite having no useful vision in my right eye.

“Sight loss through glaucoma affects the peripheral vision – although the brain somehow fills in any missing information. The major loss in my vision is in the lower right quadrant. I find that I have to move my head more in order to get the best image when looking at things. Magnifiers and assistive tech are a great help on a day-to-day basis.

“For me, a good, well-balanced diet is also important to manage glaucoma as there are certain food and drink groups which can affect the condition.”

Michael Parkinson - Lancashire SLC member, sitting on a sail boat. To the right of the image, a glimpse of an orange sail can be seen.

Michael pictured whilst sailing


“I am currently on three different eye drops to prevent my eyesight deteriorating further, and I will be on these for the rest of my life. I also have regular field of vision tests at the hospital to monitor the effectiveness of my treatment.”

Family history

“Although there is no family history of glaucoma, my siblings are more disposed to developing it due to my diagnosis. As a result, they undergo regular eye sight tests to detect any signs that they may be affected.”

My advice to others

“Glaucoma is symptomless, and early detection is vital to minimise any sight loss. I would urge everyone to have regular eye sight checks.”

“If you’ve received a new diagnosis of glaucoma, containing it is possible with treatment and monitoring. Don’t allow it to adversely affect your life. With a few simple changes, you can continue to live your life as you wish.

Find out more about glaucoma

Michael Parkinson - Lancashire SLC member, at a shooting range. The photo is taken from the side, and Michael is aiming his shot.

Michael pictured at a shooting range

About Sight Loss Councils

Sight Loss Councils are led by blind and partially sighted members and funded by Thomas Pocklington Trust. We advocate the needs of visually impaired people in our communities and work to improve access to goods and services at a local and national level.

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Publication date: 12 March 2024

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