JulEYE month: eye disease affects one in 10,000 Australian babies

JulEYE month: eye disease affects one in 10,000 Australian babies

WHEN Darcy Ferreira was old enough to open his eyes, people would comment on how big and beautiful they were.

But when he was just 11-months-old, the Wahroonga youngster woke up one morning with a cloudy right eye. Concerned mum Mandy took him straight to the doctor.

“It turned out he had glaucoma in both eyes from birth, which we were unaware of,” Ms Ferreira said.

“The pressure in his eye had gotten got so high that the lenses had split apart and let fluid into his eye.

“It was very scary — he was operated on two days later to keep damage to a minimum, and we were able to save his sight because we got on to it so early.”

The now 17-month-old still has eye drops daily for the illness affecting one in 10,000 Australian babies.

Ms Ferreira urged parents to take caution: “It’s something you think that affects old people, not little babies — but it does.’’

This month is JulEYE month, raising awareness for the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Ophthalmologists Eye Foundation.

The not-for-profit organisation is educating parents about eye disease, because, despite 75 per cent of vision loss being preventable or treatable, many Australians are still not finding out if eye disease is part of their family history and if their children’s eyesight is at risk.