“I want to be able to see my three beautiful children grow up,” says Niki.
Niki was just 37 with a six-week-old baby when she was told she had glaucoma. She could tell it was serious when her optometrist arranged an urgent specialist appointment on the same day as her routine eye examination.
When she took out her phone to search for more information, her heart stopped when she read the words: ‘Glaucoma is the leading cause of avoidable blindness worldwide’.
Niki had never heard of glaucoma until that day.
“My fear was simple that I’d go blind, and that thought was extremely depressing,” says Niki. “It was unbearable to think I wouldn’t be able to help my young daughter pick out a dress for her high school formal or see her walk down the aisle.”
Our researchers are working tirelessly in the fight against glaucoma. We need your help to continue our sight saving research so that people like Niki can keep their sight.
When it comes to vision loss, time is critical. Will you help us with a gift today before it’s too late?
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma, known as a ‘silent thief of sight’, can slowly damage the eyes and cause permanent harm even before noticeable vision loss occurs.
Because glaucoma is a progressive disease, a critical component to its management is monitoring for vision loss regularly and effectively. Glaucoma usually affects peripheral vision first so accurately testing the whole of the visual field is of utmost importance.
Innovating the visual field test to diagnose, treat and monitor glaucoma progression
There is currently only a simple one-size-fits-all testing process used for all patients regardless of their vision status. Professor Andrew Turpin and a group of prominent researchers at the Lions Eye Institute is looking to change this.
In a clinical trial beginning in October 2023, the team will investigate a new way of visual field testing involving an approach that’s designed specifically for glaucoma and customised to an individual’s eye. It’s an innovative approach that also uses artificial intelligence to gather the accurate, rich information doctors need to make effective treatment decisions faster. Because glaucoma management is so vastly time-critical, this has the potential to be life-changing for glaucoma patients.
“The sooner you can detect glaucoma progression and treat it, the more likely you’ll preserve vision. This new method will allow us to monitor and diagnose in much shorter time periods and detect if there’s any need for change in treatment. This gives us a greater chance of preserving patients’ sight for longer,” says Professor Andrew Turpin.
The clinical trial will run for three years and involve 200 glaucoma patients who will have visual field test conducted every four months. There is the potential for far-reaching shifts in visual field testing that will ultimately change the overall management of glaucoma worldwide.
Niki is hopeful to keep her sight for longer.
“When I look too far into the future, it makes me feel worried. But then I think about the developments we’ve had even in the last ten years, and I just feel so hopeful for what the next ten could bring for people like me,” says Niki.
You can save sight and, more than that, you can offer hope to people like Niki. Please donate generously today.
Donations $2 and over are tax deductible.