Blindness, loss of vision: it will never happen to me

07 Dec, 2015

Anna was 50 when she lost most of her sight, leaving only a small window of peripheral vision.

‘I couldn’t even begin to describe the impact it had on me…. everything I had always taken for granted was gone in an instant; my world shattered.’ Anna had to wait ten years until new technology gave her the ‘greatest gift of her life’, the ability to see again; a gift many never receive. When she first saw a face, something many of us takes for granted, she buckled at the knees and ‘cried like a baby.’ Since that time she never takes her sight for granted. At 60 she began a university course and simple things like going to a movie, are now great joys in her life.

At the Queensland Eye Institute (QEI), our goal is to prevent vision loss and the 80% of visual impairment that could be avoided by correct care, education and treatment. Of course there are many conditions that, despite recent advances lead to vision loss e.g. glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration (the largest cause of blindness in the elderly), or retinitis pigmentosa, just a few of the conditions that could impact you or the ones you love. That is where our world-class research team provide vital assistance. Led by the eminent Professor Traian Chirila, our team of scientists collaborate both nationally and internationally with leading vision researchers and have already made many positive impacts on clinical care.

Current estimates are that 357,000 people in Australia are blind or have low vision. In our working life we often take sight for granted. However, just take a moment to think about what would happen to your career, your life and your family if something were to happen to your vision.

QEI is Queensland’s largest independent academic research institute dedicated to eye-related health and disease; something we’ve been doing quietly for the last 50 years! We are funded by generosity from Queensland residents, businesses and other supporters who see the immense value we offer, not only to Queenslanders, to everyone.

If you’re thinking of donating to an extremely worthwhile cause this Christmas, we would sincerely value your support of our research program; we’d be happy to send a Christmas card of thanks to the person you nominate in appreciation of the greatest gift ever.