'It puts holes in the retina': Thousands at risk of blindness due to diabetes-linked eye disease
STEPHEN DUFFY WAS out shopping with his mother one Friday in May 2010 when the vision in his left eye became blurry.
“I said to her, ‘Where are you?’ That’s when I noticed it first.”
He went to the doctor, who said that he probably had an eye infection, and gave him antibiotics. But the problem was still there by Monday, so he went back to the doctor.
“He shone a torch in my eye and said that there was blood on the back of my eye and sent me to the Eye and Ear Hospital on Adelaide Road,” he told TheJournal.ie.
He was diagnosed with diabetic retinopathy, an eye disease that can be caused from diabetes type 1 or 2. The blood vessels behind his eye had burst, and the eye surgeon would have to weld them back together.
By Friday, a week after he first noticed a problem, he was going under laser eye surgery to try and save his sight at the age of 30. He was petrified.
“People absolutely take their eyesight for granted until there’s a problem. It gave me a new appreciation for people who have to deal with it.”
After months of monitoring his condition, Stephen then had to go under surgery again in December as his sight was still deteriorating and he wanted to save what was left of it.
Now he can see at four feet what someone with perfect eyesight can see at 24 feet.
“That’s something that needs to be put more out into the public domain – there are so many problems caused by diabetes – kidneys, heart, and lungs. Sight problems were something that I didn’t know a lot about – but it actually puts holes in the retina.”
According to Fighting Blindness, Continue reading