Dave Myers health: Chef left ‘utterly flabbergasted’ after devastating diagnosis

Dave Myers reveals that Si King has caught Covid

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Dave and Si are mounting their motorbikes once again for a BBC programme, this time exploring the north of England. The pair meet with the best food artisans and producers who inspire their own Christmas dinner with a twist, which they share with their families and loved ones. Having enjoyed unbridled success throughout their career, Dave was left fearing that his would come to an untimely end after he was diagnosed with glaucoma.

The 64-year-old was left “utterly flabbergasted” after being diagnosed with the condition that primarily affects the optic nerve, after attending what he thought was a regular eye test appointment.

Feeling a tad delicate due to the effects of a hangover, Dave ignored initial symptoms, thinking they were only side effects of multiple beers he had consumed the night before.

But soon, he found himself being referred to the hospital after a concerned optician noticed he had the first signs of the potentially blinding condition.

The Mayo Clinic explains that glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60, although the condition can affect people of any age.

Only 54 at the time of his diagnosis, Dave detailed in an interview with The Mirror how “devastated” he was, and how potentially “catastrophic” it could have been for him and his career if the signs hadn’t been spotted so early.

Reflecting on his diagnosis Dave said: “I told her [the optician], ‘I don’t think so. I had a bit of a night last night. So I’ve probably just got a bad hangover.’

“But she took no notice and referred me to my GP who made a hospital appointment. And she’d been right.

“The first symptoms of glaucoma were setting in. I was devastated. If it hadn’t been spotted so early the result could have been catastrophic.”

Many forms of glaucoma have no warning signs, and if left untreated can eventually lead to complete blindness.

As the effect is gradual, many individuals do not notice a change in their vision until the condition is at an advanced stage.

Often the first symptoms individuals experience is blurred vision, or seeing rainbow coloured circles around bright lights. This is caused by a build-up of fluid in the front part of the eye, as a result of increasing pressure.

Other potential symptoms that can appear suddenly include:

  • Intense eye pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A red eye
  • A headache
  • Tenderness around the eyes
  • Seeing rings around lights
  • Blurred vision.

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“As a chef my sense of taste and smell are extremely important. But of all the senses, sight is the one I’d fear losing most,” Dave explained after worrying that the condition could affect his career as a TV chef.

“My work is my passion so it’s impossible to imagine doing all the things I love if I couldn’t see – riding my bike, reading an autocue or preparing dishes.”

Luckily for Dave, after receiving treatment he suffered no long-term side effects, but now has an annual eye check-up. For others, the outlook is not so positive.

According to The Mayo Clinic, around 15 percent of people with glaucoma can go blind in at least one eye within 20 years of being diagnosed.

Treatment for the condition depends on the circumstances of the condition, and which type of glaucoma the individual has.

It is important to note that treatment cannot reverse any loss of vision that has already occurred, but it can stop vision deteriorating even further – another reason why it is crucial the condition is caught early.

The NHS explains that the most common type of glaucoma – primary open angle glaucoma – is usually treated with eye drops. If these do not seem to help, then surgery may be offered.

For other types of glaucoma, laser treatment, surgery or medication are used to help minimise the damage to eyesight. Like Dave, individuals who have had glaucoma will be advised to attend regular follow-up appointments to monitor their eyes and check that treatment is working.

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