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Diagnosed at 21: Shelley's glaucoma story

“I’m Shelley and I was diagnosed with Open Angle Glaucoma when I was 21. I’ve had my pressures monitored since I was 2 years old after being diagnosed with Axenfeld-Rieger Syndrome. This affects primarily eye, teeth and umbilical development, and is extremely rare, so I was lucky to have had such an early diagnosis or I might not have had my eyesight today.


I didn’t really have any major dramas with my eyes until my pressures started rising in my early twenties. I was initially treated with eye drops, but in my mid-twenties they were not enough and I had Molteno drains put in both eyes.


I am now 38 and have since had cataract surgery, two partial cornea transplants, on several different eye drops, plus oral medications. Most importantly I have my now five year old daughter Lucy (pictured with the tasty fundraiser cookies), who is also being monitored for glaucoma as she has inherited my syndrome.


I wanted to help fundraise for Glaucoma NZ to help others with glaucoma get the support they need, and also to encourage research into new treatments for my family and others. I have had the fortune of having some amazing eye specialists help keep my eyesight, and I am excited about all the new treatment options becoming available. I also love the Eyelights newsletter and its invaluable information, so thank you Glaucoma NZ!”

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