Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month – Your eye health REALLY is important!

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April is Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, which is something I really wanted to raise awareness about.

With the shocking statistics that 2/3 of blindness and visual impairment occurs in women, it is surely a subject that needs to be spoken about more.

I don’t know how other people’s experiences have affected them, so I can only speak of my own personal experience, which has made me realise how important eye health really is…

It was in May last year, during a routine opticians appointment, that I first found out there was a problem. I was told that my Optic Nerves were swollen and dazed and I had suspected Papilledema (caused by increased pressure around the brain), so I was referred for an emergency hospital appointment.

I was really shocked and scared, considering I hadn’t displayed any major symptoms before my appointment – although saying that, I’d never heard of the condition and didn’t know its symptoms.

After various eye tests and checks by an Ophthalmologist, they confirmed that I had Bilateral Papilledema. I was then admitted to a hospital side ward, where I had to undergo all kinds of tests and scans to ensure there wasn’t any serious underlying condition causing the problem.

When all of the results came back ok, I was allowed home – although I had to go back again the following day for a lumbar puncture, which was painful to say the least!

I now have to attend regular hospital appointments to keep an eye on my condition (no pun intended!) and am lucky that my Papilledema was diagnosed. Although I’ll suffer with it for the rest of my life, I’ll never let it get in the way of what I want to do!

The symptoms of Papilledema are:

  • Dizziness
  • Headaches
  •  Nausea
  • Loss of Vision
  • Disturbances in Vision
  • Blurred Vision
  • Seeing Flickering Lights

I also experience:

  • My eyes stinging and watering to the point where I can’t open my eyes, which can come on suddenly.
  • A ‘squashing’ feeling in my head, due to the increased pressure.
  • My eyes ‘not being with it’ or able to focus.
  • Bloodshot eyes
  • Sensitivity to light

I wrote this to raise awareness of how important your eye health is – your age isn’t a defining factor, ANYONE can be affected.

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About the author

Jess Hempshall

Previously a Writer for Reality Spy, now a Writer/Editor for The Bite.