Posted on Thursday 15 September 2016
Mary Newman, a 77-year-old retired nurse from Herne Hill, says "When you've had problems with your eyes, it's wonderful to be able to see."
Mary, who had both glaucoma and cataracts, has seen her eyesight improve dramatically thanks to surgery carried out by experts at Guy's and St Thomas'.
Glaucoma is a condition which can affect people’s sight, usually because of a build-up of pressure within the eye. Glaucoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness in the world. Cataracts occur when changes in the lens of the eye make it less clear.
Mary had a new form of treatment for glaucoma during which a tiny tube is inserted into the eye to drain fluid and reduce pressure in the eye.
The cataracts were removed at the same time to make treatment more convenient.
Mary says: "I was diagnosed with glaucoma when I was still working. In 2012 I was referred to St Thomas' as I'd been having problems with my left eye because of a virus.
“It was like a flock of ants running around the bottom eyelid. I needed to take different drops to keep the pressure in my eye down so, when I was told about this new treatment, I was happy to give it a try.
"It's been brilliant. It's made life fantastically easier and better. I can read with glasses now. Before I could only read large print with difficulty."
Mr Saurabh Goyal, consultant ophthalmologist at Guy’s and St Thomas’, says: "Before this new treatment, glaucoma patients would take drops to reduce the pressure in the eye. The problem with drops is only 50% will get in the eye with the rest falling on the cheek. So it's less effective.
"The implant means the sight is improved with minimal invasive treatment, there is quick recovery and fewer follow-up visits compared to traditional glaucoma surgery."
National Eye Health Week runs from 19 to 25 September. If you would like more information about looking after your eyes visit www.nhs.uk/Livewell/Eyehealth.