Patrick Gower's shock diagnosis that almost made him blind

goss 02/07/2018

Newshub national correspondent Patrick Gower has opened up about his shock glaucoma diagnosis that almost took away his sight.

"I have been going blind. I had no symptoms, no pain, no loss of sight - nothing," he wrote in a special piece for Newshub.

"That is what glaucoma does: if you don't know you have it, you start losing your sight and suddenly it is too late - it is gone."

Glaucoma is often referred to as "the silent thief of sight", is caused by increased pressure on the eyes.

"You can't feel it, but it grinds away at the eye's optic nerve. And once those nerve fibres are gone, they are gone forever."

The TV reporter, who had surgery on his detached retina in 2014, discovered it early after going for a regular checkup with his eyesight specialist. He had laser surgery on both eyes to relieve the pressure.

"The good news is the glaucoma is now under control. I am lucky, I got it early and it has worked - I have kept my sight. It could have been a disaster, yet fixing it was easy - but only because I knew."

It is estimated that there are 90,000 people with glaucoma in New Zealand - but only 45,000 have been officially diagnosed. 

Read Patrick Gower's full opinion piece here.