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Lianne, 26

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

Lianne after her most recent surgery. In the hospital with a face mask on, and a white eye patch covering her right eye.
Lianne after her most recent surgery

Where are you from?

London, UK

Where do you live now?

Belfast, UK

Tell us about yourself

I’ve lived all over the UK (never lost my London accent though) and now I’m back in Belfast. I love being beside the sea, a long walk on the beach and a pint of Guinness is my idea of perfection!

What's your eye story?

I was diagnosed with Uveitis when I was 9 years old. Uveitis is an inflammatory eye condition that causes painful flare-ups with symptoms including a decrease in vision, sensitivity to light, and most noticeably a red painful eye. As a result of the steroid medication I developed cataracts in both eyes (at different times thankfully) and I was also diagnosed with glaucoma in my right eye. Over the years glaucoma deteriorated and I had surgery to place a shunt as drainage in my eye to reduce the pain and high pressure, for many years the glaucoma was stable with the occasional uveitis flare-up. However, in 2019 I had surgery that was required to move the shunt in my eye, since this surgery I have lost the vision in my right eye and had several procedures to decrease the pressure which to this date have not worked. I am now awaiting my consultation appointment with the oculoplastics specialist regarding the removal of my eye.

Uveitis flare-up. a close up picture of Lianne's eye. It is filled with blood.
Uveitis flare-up

What has been the hardest thing mentally?

Growing up feeling embarrassed even though there wasn’t anything I could do, not knowing anyone with the same problems so having no one to relate to, especially as a teenager, and lastly the prospect of having my eye removed despite suffering for 18 years feels like the suffering was for nothing.

What has been the hardest thing physically?

Having visible stitches in my eyes made me feel extremely insecure, losing my vision - no one can prepare you for how it feels to lose your sight. People definitely take it for granted and being in immense pain daily along with taking countless medications feels debilitating.

Where are you now in your recovery?

To be honest I’m not really sure I could call it recovery as uveitis is a chronic condition and thankfully I only have glaucoma in my right eye. I am currently taking medication for both eyes. For the right eye, I try to manage pain, and for the left eye, I keep it as healthy as possible since it is my only form of vision. I recently had laser surgery on the right eye and will know in the next few weeks if this was successful, but for now, I am still in excruciating pain daily. I have multiple specialist appointments coming up including seeing the surgeon regarding removal.

Lianne currently. Smiling and looking right into the camera. You can tell her right eye is still red and sore.

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