“Controlling eye pressure has enabled me to halt the progression of glaucoma”
Joaquima Bosch was diagnosed 13 years ago with ocular hypertension and, since then, has been on medication to control it. This has enabled her to halt the progression of her glaucoma. She underlines the importance of periodic check-ups and prevention, especially in cases such as this disease, which is asymptomatic. She is a diabetic although hypertension as a trigger for glaucoma can affect everyone
When was your disease detected?
In late 1996. I had tests and I was diagnosed with diabetes. I was told that this disease can attack both the kidneys and eyesight. So soon afterwards I decided to visit Dr Jordi Monés, who detected ocular hypertension. Since then, I have been on medication to monitor my eye pressure. A few years later, I was referred to Dr Marta Pazos, the glaucoma specialist, as they found that the nerve in my left eye was deformed. This was a sign of the disease.
Prior to diagnosis, what were your symptoms?
I didn’t have any. As it’s a silent disease, I know that it’s normal not to have any symptoms even though you are a sufferer: glaucoma is a pathology that arrives from one day to the next, without warning. I still have no symptoms; I can see well. However, it’s also true that I have been on medication to control eye pressure for years. Thanks to this, we have been able to halt the progression of glaucoma.
Have you managed to keep the disease at bay?
I make two visits a year, one of these includes campimetry and so far the results have always been good. In addition, I use eyedrops every day, morning and night. It’s very important to keep doing so.
Glaucoma is a disease in which the first-degree family history can multiply by ten the chances of suffering from the disease. Does your family follow the recommendations and do they make regular visits? What advice would you give about this disease?
Yes, my family go for periodic check-ups. The most important thing is to have check-ups when it’s the right time to do so. Just as we usually visit the gynaecologist every year, or in the case of men, the urologist, people should be made aware of the need to visit the ophthalmologist every year. And not only when we get older, or if we have diabetes as is my case, but as quickly as possible. Eyesight is one of our most important assets. In addition, glaucoma, where you don’t notice the symptoms, is a warning about what can happen if you don’t undergo periodic check-ups.
How do you think that ophthalmological research should be supported?
Obviously, I hope that a cure for glaucoma will soon be found and I think the research is on track. All the institutions should provide support so solutions can be found. I think they should also undertake lots of prevention campaigns. People should be made aware of the importance of prevention and check-ups to diagnose any disease as soon as possible.
I also believe that whenever possible, people should participate more as volunteers in clinical trials as this is a chance for all of us to bring about progress in the research.