“Awareness can help women preserve their vision.
Make your eye health a priority so you will be able to see your future!”
- Audrey, 56, Registered Nurse
When I was 25 years old, I was diagnosed with a rare and degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). It was devastating news to receive as a young wife, new mother, and career woman. I could not imagine how I would live my life without sight. Now more than 30 years later, I know it can be done.
RP has been taking away my sight bit by bit. I am now in the advanced stages and have a very small window of vision left. I have had to learn and use adaptive techniques and technologies to perform essential daily living tasks.
While there is no cure for RP, I can still protect what vision I have by living a healthy lifestyle, seeing my eye care specialists regularly, wearing sunglasses, and learning all I can about eye health.
Recently, my daughter got married and I was able to see enough to know she made a beautiful bride. Now I have a new granddaughter and I can see that she looks like her daddy.
I am outspoken about eye health with my family and friends. I encourage my adult children to have regular eye exams, and they are being monitored for my disease. I have always encouraged my family members to wear good, UV-filtering sunglasses. I educate my siblings, who are now getting older, on age-related eye diseases and encourage them to get regular dilated eye exams.
When my friends, colleagues, and clients come to me with questions about their vision, I am always happy to help them find the information and services they need. I make referrals to eye care professionals, and share information on local resources that can help them maintain healthy vision. My message is always “Take time to care for your eyes. Prevention through healthy living is key. Stay on top of vision problems and see an eye care professional regularly.”