3 Celebrities On Living With Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a sneaky problem. Not only is it one of the leading causes of blindness, it doesn’t yet have a cure and it sometimes sneaks up on individuals without presenting any symptoms. Its long-term effects can be catastrophic. What makes blindness caused by glaucoma even more difficult to stomach is the knowledge that its effects could have been delayed.
At Katzen Eye Group, our professionals provide preventative care measures in the form of eye exams and dilation tests to detect issues like glaucoma early. Unfortunately, many people are not proactive about seeing an eye specialist in order to check for early signs. The good news is that an increasing number of individuals and organizations are raising awareness about glaucoma, particularly celebrities who have spoken out about their experiences with the condition.
Even if you don’t listen to U2, you have definitely heard of Bono. As lead vocalist for the popular Irish rock band, Bono’s personal image has transcended the music industry and become entrenched in the public imagination for his very active philanthropy that has allowed him to create connections across entertainment, social activism, and politics. One issue he has been relatively less outspoken about: his glaucoma. While the musician is hesitant to divulge all the personal details about his experience with the condition, he revealed in 2014 that he’s “had glaucoma for the last 20 years.” He went on to say, “I’m having good treatments, and I am going to be fine.” It is the reported reason why Bono wears his famous shades – for added comfort against his sensitivity to glare and light.
Groups and individuals raising awareness about glaucoma are regularly stressing the importance of regular check ups, which are vital for the early detection of diseases like glaucoma. Perhaps the most convincing case for the importance of early detection is made by former astronaut and United States Senator John Glenn. Glenn’s career as an astronaut might have never happened if his glaucoma had progressed. He credited early detection for saving his sight and ensuring his future career path. He participated in the launch of a public service campaign in 2002, where he encouraged Americans to learn the risk factors and make the time to get eye tests to ensure they don’t fall victim to the disease that’s been called the “sneak thief of sight”.
“I’ll never forget the beautiful image of Earth as I looked from the Space Shuttle Discovery,” Glenn shared. “If my glaucoma had not been caught in time, I never would have seen such a sight.”
In 2014, the actress and co-host of The View revealed that she smoked marijuana via vaporizers in order to ease the symptoms of her glaucoma. Goldberg wrote that she suffered from painful headaches as a result of the eye condition. Marijuana is a commonly known option for those suffering from the symptoms of glaucoma. These uncomfortable symptoms are caused by increased pressure in the eye. While it is proven that marijuana can reduce discomfort due to this build-up of pressure, it is not a recommended treatment option for doctors to provide considering its short-term usefulness of about 3-4 hours according to the Glaucoma Research Foundation.
Early detection can ensure that glaucoma does not derail your life. In fact, if caught early, glaucoma can be successfully delayed to ensure a heightened quality of life. For those who are in the midst of living with glaucoma, our eye care specialists at Katzen Eye Group in Lutherville, Baltimore, and Rosedale are ready and able to help you find the most effective treatment options that ensure both quality of care and comfort.