45-year-old, father-of-two Shannon Davis was curious why he was the only one in his family without prescription glasses. But when he went for his check-up one day, Shannon learned that he was, in fact, legally blind.
I was shocked, confused when I was told I had a severe chronic disease (that I knew nothing about) and that it was already very advanced in its progression,” Shannon explained.
“This meant I had already irreversibly lost a large amount of my vision in both eyes and had very little vision left to play with for the remainder of my life. With no prospect of medical improvement to my vision I was advised I was legally blind and I could no longer drive.”
It’s estimated that 300,000 Australians suffer from glaucoma, 50% of which haven’t been diagnosed. This is because for the 50% – just like Shannon – their brain is compensating for actual vision loss and optic nerve damage by filling in the blanks with what it believes should be in their peripheral vision.
It is because of this that glaucoma is otherwise known as the “silent thief of sight” – the eye disease that goes undetected until it reaches an advanced stage. And because Shannon’s diagnosis of glaucoma was already far in its progression, it meant debilitating permanent disablement, which led him to have to medically retire from work.
Fortunately, with the support of Shannon’s family, the medical care available in Australia and through platforms like MedAdvisor, Shannon was able to manage his diagnosis. Under his ophthalmologist’s guidance and surgical interventions, Shannon now has lowered his eye pressures and slowed down the further progression of his glaucoma and the loss of sight.
“I have recovered from my surgeries and made my peace with the knowledge that the condition may continue to slowly deteriorate, and there is no prospect for any improvement in my vision,” said Shannon. “It’s about understanding how I can lead a full and enjoyable life with significant disability, with the acceptance that my life will be different.”
How Shannon used MedAdvisor to manage glaucoma
“I was taking multiple prescription eye drops at 3 different times in the day,” Shannon revealed. “Being precise about the schedule was a top priority for me. Remembering to stop what you’re doing and adhere to such a complicated schedule of medications was sometimes tricky if I had a lot going on. So I was looking for an app that would alert me exactly at the time when I was due to take these pressure lowering eye drops.”
For Shannon, not adhering to the schedule for his eye drops increased the risk that his eye pressure would rise again.
After a long search and through trial and error, Shannon found MedAdvisor.
“The combination of being able to manage my scripts and repeats digitally together with the medication alerts was compelling.”
By being able to confidently rely on the scheduled alerts for his eye drops as well as manage and track his pharmacy scripts all in one place, Shannon was able to focus on living again.
“7 Sights in 7 Days Challenge”
This World Glaucoma Week, which runs from March 6 to 12, MedAdvisor and Glaucoma Australia are partnering with one another to raise awareness around this debilitating eye disease.
The fundraising initiative, 7 Sights in 7 Days Challenge, aims to encourage Aussies to take care of their sight and be proactive about prioritising their eye health to prevent loss of sight through early detection of disease.
As a part of Glaucoma Australia’s annual Treat Your Eyes campaign, the “7 Sights in 7 Days Challenge” aims to remind Australians how important sight is, capturing precious everyday moments while raising funds for early detection programs and critical support services to help end glaucoma blindness.
“People tend to take their overall health for granted until something goes wrong. Glaucoma and your overall visual health are not a trivial matter. It needs to be given greater priority in people’s health management. In Australia we are fortunate to have access to some of the best medical expertise and resources in the world, so use it! Get your eyes checked and protect your vision,” adds Shannon.
How MedAdvisor can help
MedAdvisor’s co-founder, Josh Swinnerton, watched his mother struggle with more than ten different prescription medicines to manage her arthritis and Parkinson's disease. It is through this experience that Swinnerton personally understands the toll diseases take and the challenge of managing the day-to-day.
With that, the MedAdvisor platform was developed to help people like Josh’s mother as well as Shannon and his family gain back control and make medication one less stressor.
Helping people take and track medications with digital-first pharmacy tools and educational content that improves health literacy and medication adherence – MedAdvisor is solving an AU$800+ billion problem that helps two million users today within Australia and abroad.
Learn more about MedAdvisor here, and download the app here today.