Kiran Meka: running for Moorfields
30 January 2020
Kiran has had with sight problems since he was a child. To say thank you for all the care he has received at Moorfields over the years, he got sponsored to run Brighton Marathon.
Kiran’s sight disappeared one day when his eyes popped “like a fuse.” Moments later, his sight returned but he went to hospital to find out what had happened.
After being examined, doctors diagnosed Kiran with a rare type of glaucoma called juvenile open angle glaucoma (JOAG).
What is glaucoma?
Glaucoma is a when damage to the optic nerve causes sight loss. It is usually caused by the pressure inside your eye rising too high.
Your eye is full of fluid, which helps it to keep its shape and function properly. If too much fluid builds up inside the eye, the pressure rises and squeezes the optic nerve at the back of the eye.
This can cause damage to your optic nerve - a bundle of over a million nerve fibres that carry signals between your eye and your brain.
Pressure might build up in the eye when:
- fluid is stopped from draining away;
- extra fluid is produced after an eye injury or infection - this is called ‘secondary glaucoma’;
- there is an abnormality in the shape of the eye in children - this is called ‘congenital glaucoma’.
Glaucoma tends to develop slowly over many years. As there is currently no cure for glaucoma, treatment focuses on early diagnosis, careful monitoring and regular treatment to help prevent further sight loss.
9 in 10
Over 90 per cent of people diagnosed with glaucoma today who get the treatment they need will retain useful sight for the rest of their lives
It is not currently possible to repair the optic nerve once it has been damaged, so any vision lost to glaucoma cannot be recovered. If left untreated, glaucoma can lead to blindness.
There are usually no symptoms of a rising pressure in the eye until sight loss occurs, so regular eye tests are the best way to help spot the condition early.
Treatment - referral to Moorfields
After Kiran’s doctor put him on a course of medication, he was referred to Moorfields Eye Hospital. Although he could see again, experts there told Kiran that he needed emergency surgery to stop him going blind. Kiran was frightened.
He explains, “It was a shock to hear but my consultant told me I was in the safest pair of hands at Moorfields.”
“Within 24 hours I was operated on successfully. I had some irreversible damage but the condition was now managed - they saved my sight.”
Giving back - Brighton Marathon
Ever since his emergency operation, Kiran has been a regular patient at Moorfields. Over the years, he has had seven surgeries and he is incredibly grateful.
He says, “I have had fantastic support and wonderful care at Moorfields.”
Without their timely help, I would have gone blind long time ago.
In 2018, Kiran began looking for ways to give back to Moorfields. He also wanted to get fit and so he searched for opportunities where he could do both at the same time.
Eventually, Kiran settled on running - and he hasn’t stopped since! After running two half marathons at the beginning of 2018, he took on Brighton Marathon in April and donated the proceedings to Moorfields Eye Charity.
In total, Kiran managed to raise a fantastic £390. Every penny raised will help fund innovative research at Moorfields.
Thank you, Kiran!