My daughter was diagnosed with glaucoma when she was eight years old. When she was younger, she had bilateral congenital cataracts that were removed, leaving her without lenses in her eyes.
As a result of the surgery, she required regular eye examinations. It was during one of these exams that they checked her pressure to discover it was very high, at over 40 (normal pressure should be under 21).
She was given eye drops and we were booked in for a check the following week. This was the story for such a long time. We were at the hospital so often we were allowed to just turn up and be slotted in when we arrived. It was a trial and error of drops, combined with numerous eye scans.
Over time the appointments gradually changed from weekly to monthly; then once every three months, and then once every six months when her glaucoma was under control.
We now use drops to control the pressure and her eyes are scanned every six months to check for nerve damage.
There have been times when the medications made her sick, and we’ve had to adjust them. It’s been nerve-wracking during the pandemic as it’s been harder to get an appointment.
At the moment, her glaucoma is being managed with drops twice a day in both eyes. This is keeping her pressures just over 20 in both eyes.
Ashtyn is visually impaired and has been registered as partially sighted. She has already had several surgeries over her short life.
For the future I’m confident that whatever it may bring that she will meet it head on and have the support that she needs.
Story submitted by Ashytyn’s mother, Michelle Connolly.