When I was in my 50s I was diagnosed with primary open angle glaucoma after visiting my optician. The consultant at the Royal Manchester Eye Hospital explained that glaucoma is a build-up of pressure in the eye and that it isn’t something I would have necessarily noticed otherwise. I was told that over time I could lose my peripheral vision and that would have had a massive impact on my life as a care home proprietor.
Driving is a big part of my life, both at work and in my personal life. I drive some distance to see my grandchildren every week. Losing my sight would be life changing for me.
Initially, I was given drops that would help prevent my eyesight from getting worse. I needed to take them twice daily which I was happy to do, but unfortunately my eyes were sensitive to them.
I heard about the Aquesys XEN Implant research study, which was taking place at the hospital and I went to see Dr Leon Au, Consultant ophthalmologist at RMEH. The doctor explained that the new surgical implant was designed to reduce the pressure in my eye, without the need for eye drops, and that my current eye pressure meant that I was eligible to take part in the study.
As a result of the implant, I’ve been told that the pressure in my eye is now adequately controlled. The procedure doesn’t require general anaesthetic and there are no stiches needed, which is great news as I’m told this lowers the risk of infection and the recovery time associated with traditional surgery. For me, it meant that I could go straight back to work and, as the trial is to examine the long term effects of the Aquesys stent it was reassuring to know that I will be monitored closely by my consultant on a regular basis. I’m really pleased to have been given the opportunity to receive cutting edge technology, whilst helping others, through this trial.
Taking part in research means that I won’t have to make big changes to my lifestyle in the future. I can keep my busy lifestyle for as long as I choose, and to know that I am able to drive across to see my grandchildren is the best results I could have hoped for.
Learn more about our research
Hear more on our research into novel devices to treat glaucoma from Mr Leon Au, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon at Manchester Royal Eye Hospital (MREH).
You can also learn more about our eye research and how to get involved.