This is a blast from the past but it is worth remembering because sad stories like this still happen because Canadians are not as aware as they should be about glaucoma.

Back in May, 2011, Global News did a story on the six o’clock news highlighting the dangers of getting automated sight tests from opticians rather than a comprehensive eye exam from a doctor of optometry. You are risking blindness.

Eye exams by a doctor of optometry assess the health of your eye and its component parts like the optic nerve. This is only way to diagnose glaucoma and other diseases early enough to prevent permanent vision loss.

The news story was about Jason Inman, who was getting automated sight tests from an optician for years. He thought he was too young to need an eye exam from an eye doctor. He was wrong and and the tragic consequence was permanent vision loss.

In his interview he talked about having a permanent smudge in his vision. This will likely never go away. For his eyes to get this bad from glaucoma, he was likely at the point of permanent vision loss. Going by what he said in his interview, his eyesight deteriorated enough to make him illegal to drive.

The good news is that after he went to his optometrist, his disease was diagnosed and the treatment is very good at preventing further vision loss. The tragedy, of course, is that if he just visited his optometrist regularly he would not have suffered permanent vision loss. The thing that makes glaucoma so dangerous is that the person with the disease will not know that he has it until serious vision loss has already occurred.

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