Why my focus on this one particular eye disease? What is so potentially dangerous about the individual eye condition glaucoma?
Glaucoma is so dangerous because it is essentially symptom-free in its early and even fairly advanced stages. Early on the patient experiences no blurred vision, no eye pain, redness, or discomfort of any kind. For this reason, so many glaucoma victims conclude that their eyes seem to be fine. When they get into their fourth decade of life they pick up some reading glasses which work just fine for the only vision problem they conclude they have – loss of near focus. Why should they seek eye care? They see fine, their eyes never bother them and so it just makes sense to stay away from the doctors unless they have a problem. Of course this conclusion is even more evident when the glaucoma victim has no insurance and therefore no way to seek routine care even if the need was perceived.
So what we have is a massive, serious 2-pronged dilemma – the existence of this blinding eye disease that most people would have no idea they have developed, coupled with groups of our population that are chronically uninsured and therefore virtually incapable of ever finding out they are losing their vision. These individuals WILL GO BLIND unless the diagnosis is somehow made and treatment administered.
That is my mission, my dream. To establish a Free Glaucoma Clinic that would be funded by grants and donations and would staff and equip a clinical facility to enable un-insured glaucoma victims to obtain diagnostic services, complimentary eyedrops and when necessary, surgical treatments, along with thorough follow-up care.