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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 01:17 GMT 02:17 UK
'I didn't see my daughter grow up'
Trish Richmond
Trish Richmond blames her weight for her sight loss
Obesity doubles the risk of conditions which cause sight loss, the Royal National Institute has warned.

Trish Richmond, 42, from Motherwell, Scotland, is now completely blind and blames her sight loss on being overweight.

Now 17 stone, her weight peaked at 20 stone. She has glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy and also had cataracts.

High blood pressure, caused by being overweight, aggravated her glaucoma.

My youngest is 19 now, but in my mind I still see a wee girl looking back at me
Trish Richmond

Trish, who is married and has three daughters, said she started to experience problems with her sight in 1986.

"An eye test picked up the fact that I had glaucoma early enough to treat it."

She gave birth to her daughter and had around six or seven years of healthy sight.

"I had had diabetes since I was 12. It was at about this point that I started to notice subtle changes in my condition."

Poor diet

Trish realised her diabetes was affecting her eyes, through diabetic retinopathy.

She added: "The glaucoma was getting worse. And I wasn't taking care of myself properly.

"It was more important to feed the kids than to look after myself.

"I ate pies and sausage rolls - both high in fat. And I wasn't doing the right exercise.

"I had lots of treatment. But in 1999, doctors told me I was losing my sight completely and there was nothing more they could do."

For two years, Trish sank into depression about not being able to see her family grow up.

"Losing my sight was really traumatic. My daughter was about seven then. It was the thought that I wouldn't see her grow up, or see my other daughters or my husband again.

"My youngest is 19 now, but in my mind I still see a wee girl looking back at me."

But she is now studying at an RNIB unit designed to help people back to work.

She said: "I really want people to know how being overweight can lead to blindness.

"My message is simple: don't lose your sight through ignorance, watch your weight and have regular eye tests."


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