John Bangay tells of eyesight problems during World Glaucoma Awareness Week

An exhibition at Peterborough City Hospital to promote World Glaucoma Awareness Week. Pictured, from left, are ophthalmology department medical secretary Sally Parker, consultant ophthalmic surgeon Dr Susana Ramirez-Florez and glaucoma sufferer John Bangay from Stamford
An exhibition at Peterborough City Hospital to promote World Glaucoma Awareness Week. Pictured, from left, are ophthalmology department medical secretary Sally Parker, consultant ophthalmic surgeon Dr Susana Ramirez-Florez and glaucoma sufferer John Bangay from Stamford

An artist who has battled an eye condition for 30 years hopes to educate people on the dangers of glaucoma during an awareness week.

John Bangay, 64, of Bath Row, Stamford, designed an exhibition on glaucoma, which has been on display in the main atrium at Peterborough City Hospital all week for World Glaucoma Awareness Week, which runs this week until Saturday.

Glaucoma is a painless degenerative eye condition, often hereditary, which if untreated can lead to blindess.

Mr Bangay feels strongly that people should be more aware of the dangers of the condition.

He first noticed problems with his eyesight when he was 32 but was assured it was nothing to worry about. Glaucoma were diagnosed a year later when the problem had not been resolved.

He was first given eye drops, then laser treatment but after neither of these treatments were successful, he had surgery, where his eyeballs were drained to relieve the pressure.

Since that operation in 1983, Mr Bangay has regular visits to the eye clinic but his sight has been maintained without further medication.

He has good sight in one eye and partial vision in his left eye.

This has allowed him to produce some of his most admired work, including drawings of English cathedrals, in particular St Paul’s Cathedal and York Minster.

Some of his work is on display as part of the hospital’s exhibition.

He said: “I decided to make my condition public during the awareness week in the hope that others in my situation will make the effort to go for a check-up and preserve their sight.

“Without the superb treatment I have received most of my drawings would never have been created.”

The condition, which mainly affects those over the age of 40, is often hereditary and Mr Bangay’s mother had treatment on her eyes.

Free eye tests are available for those most at risk and the hospital is encouraging those who fear they could be affected to contact their doctor.