Professor Stuart MacGregor is leading groundbreaking research on glaucoma. He knows too well the disease’s heartbreaking impact.
“My mum lost an eye in a childhood accident and now has glaucoma in her remaining eye. She tripped and fell earlier this year and her injuries have taken months to heal.
“Half of all people walking around with glaucoma are unaware they have it and could go blind.”
Professor MacGregor and his team have discovered more than 300 genes linked to glaucoma risk. Their painstaking work has transformed these discoveries into a simple saliva-based genetic test.
Your help is urgently needed to fund a large-scale study so this remarkable test can be available to all.
Glaucoma is a heritable disease and comes from both sides of your family.
It is a disease that damages the optic nerve which transmits sight pictures to the brain.
High pressure within the eye is the most common cause of optic nerve damage, although some people lose vision even with moderate pressure levels.
Peripheral vision is lost first. It becomes like looking through a tunnel, but the brain compensates and most people don’t realise what’s happening until it is too late.
Tragically, the damage is irreversible.
There is no cure for glaucoma, but if detected early, eye drops and surgery can help prevent damage.
Glaucoma comes from both sides of your family. You may have been a carrier without knowing.
The closer the relative, the higher the risk. Having a cousin or a grandparent affected increases your risk, but is less than having a mother, father or sibling with glaucoma.
Having one parent or one sibling with glaucoma means your chance of developing the disease is 3 to 10 times higher than other people.
“I want to see the precious faces of my grandchildren as they grow up.”
By the time I realised something was wrong, it was too late. My vision loss was permanent.
I had to sell my home because I could no longer drive. I’ve lost my confidence and independence. I even struggle to read to my grandchildren and I fear losing my sight completely.
If I’d known earlier, I could have protected my sight. My son has now been diagnosed too and I worry about my granddaughters. I want to prevent other families going through this.
I urge everyone to support this appeal and stop preventable blindness. The sight you save could be your own, or that of your loved ones.
“I didn’t know glaucoma was highly heritable and I was also at risk, I’m now worried for my kids.”
Mum lost her vision very fast so when I found out I had glaucoma, I was really frightened.
I’ve got a lot riding on me with work and family commitments – the thought of going blind was terrifying.
Fortunately, my glaucoma was detected early. I can have treatments that will preserve my sight for decades.
You only realise how vital your eyesight is when you are at risk of losing it. Professor MacGregor’s glaucoma research could help people find out their risk early before it’s too late.
Optometrist, Ken Ingram, sees too many people needlessly lose their sight.
“Glaucoma is preventable if found early. The only way to do that right now is by testing for eye pressure and changes to the optic nerve.
This genetic test would completely change the paradigm of how we manage glaucoma. We’d know who’s at risk and we could protect them before any damage is done.”
Join us to learn more about glaucoma, your risk of developing it, and the important medical research underway at QIMR Berghofer aimed at preventing it.
Date: 30 November 2023
Time: 10AM -11:30AM. Refreshment on arrival
Location: QIMR Berghofer, 300 Herston Rd, Herston 4006
Or join online via Zoom