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Kochie’s important message for Australians after revealing ‘scary’ health diagnosis


Sunrise presenter David ‘Kochie’ Koch has opened up about a “scary” health issue that almost cost him his eyesight.

The Channel Seven star revealed in a new interview that he was diagnosed with glaucoma three years ago during a routine eye check.

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Glaucoma is a common eye problem that causes vision loss and, if untreated, can cause blindness, according to HealthDirect.

Usually the deterioration is very gradual and is rarely noticed by the more than 300,000 Australians who suffer from the condition until their eyesight is damaged.

That’s why it’s commonly known as the “silent thief of sight”.

Kochie, who famously wears glasses, told The Sunday Telegraph he had no idea he had glaucoma until he went in for a regular exam.

“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.

“We do lots of reading on Sunrise, a fair bit off the autocue and I hadn’t noticed a difference over the years.

“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.”

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Kochie said he was now sharing his story during Men’s Health Week to encourage people to get more frequent eyesight and general wellness checks.

It’s estimated that one third of Aussie blokes turn a blind eye to health issues.

“I’ve got eight grandchildren and now my youngest daughter is getting married in three weeks … there’s a lot to see in my life and it reminds you how much we take eye health for granted,” the 66-year-old said.

“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.”

Sunrise presenter David Koch has revealed he was recently diagnosed with glaucoma. Credit: Sunrise

According to HealthDirect, Glaucoma refers to a group of conditions that damage the optic nerve that links the eye to the brain.

“The optic nerve carries signals from the back of your eye to the brain and allows you to see,” the site explains.

“Nerve damage often has something to do with the fluid in the eye.

“Sometimes, the pressure of the fluid inside the eye rises, and the fluid presses hard on the optic nerve, damaging it.

“But glaucoma can also occur even when the fluid pressure in the eye is normal.”

People aged over 50, with vision issues and those who are related to someone with the condition are considered among the highest risk.

While it can be managed with eyedrops and laser surgery, glaucoma can’t be prevented.

Source: 7News