Sunrise star David ‘Kochie’ Koch has opened up about a “scary” diagnosis that almost left him blind.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the breakfast TV host revealed that he was diagnosed with glaucoma three years ago during a routine eye test.
Glaucoma, which is often referred to as the ‘silent thief of sight’, is a degenerative eye disease that causes vision loss due to optic nerve damage and can lead to blindness if untreated.
2 in 100 Australians will develop the eye problem in their lifetime, and 50% of people with glaucoma don’t know they have it until their eyesight is irreparably damaged, according to Glaucoma Australia.
Kochie told the publication that despite having to do plenty of reading on Sunrise, he hadn’t noticed any change in his vision when he received the diagnosis at his regular optometrist’s appointment.
“It was a real revelation and a bit scary to think that if this optometrist hadn’t picked it up, it would have kept getting worse and worse,” he said.
“If it hadn’t been treated for another year or two it would have been really hard to stabilise and it would have gone over the tipping point.”
‘It’s a simple thing’
Kochie, who now manages his glaucoma with eye drops and laser surgery, went on to say that it’s important for him to share his story to hopefully inspire others to get their eyes tested on a more regular basis.
“I’ve got eight grandchildren and now my youngest daughter is getting married in three weeks,” he continued. “There’s a lot to see in my life and it reminds you how much we take eye health for granted.
“It’s not just a case of ‘I’m getting old and losing the strength of my vision’ and then putting it off as a normal thing. It may not be normal and you might have this insidious glaucoma.
“If it gets out of control imagine what you won’t see in the future - it’s a simple test, just go to any optometrist and it’s a simple thing.”
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