Keratoconus Group | Support Community and Blog

News Anchor's Life With Keratoconus

My name is Phil Sanchez, I'm a news anchor at WISH-TV in Indianapolis, Indiana and I have Keratoconus. My battle began 10 years ago.

I was struggling to see... the teleprompter was blurry, my night vision was declining and sunlight became my kryptonite. It was time to go to the eye doctor. Two optometrists and an eye specialist later I was diagnosed with Keratoconus. Both eyes were bad, I was prescribed RGP contacts and told there was not much else I could do. It would only get worse.

10 years later... I can see news copy in our teleprompter a little bit better but sometimes it's a real struggle, my contact lenses might be foggy that day, or the studio lights might be angled in a way that hits my eyes like a linebacker tackling a quarterback. I can't leave the house without sunglasses, and night driving has become increasingly worse, increasingly more dangerous. I try to stay positive and remind myself that there are people in the world that are a lot worse off. But the thought of losing my sight is scary.

This year, my Doctor recommended that I try scleral lenses. They're expensive, $1500 (including the fitting session), but they work better for me than RGP lenses. They're more comfortable and they don't shift when I blink. But my sight is still not great, and probably never will be. I've learned to live with it, and have found ways to get around it.

What will I do for a living if I can't read the news? And more importantly, what will it be like if I can't see my two children (7 and 4) grow up? Those are the questions that I often ask myself. For people who don't have Keratoconus, it's hard to understand how life altering Keratoconus is.

Maybe there will be a cure for us one day, but until then we just keep moving forward.

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5 comments:

  1. Thanks for sharing your story. I recommend cross linking surgery to stop the KC progression. I had it done two years ago and have not seen my KC worsen since then.

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  2. I also had crosslinking done in both eyes. It stopped the progression of keratoconus. It also thickened my corneas enough that I was able to have a PRK laser surgery done on my worst eye. I went from basically blind in that eye to about 20/30 vision without glasses or contacts.

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  3. I feel your struggle Phil, and loss of sight is a fear of mine as well.(still 30/300 without contacts) I was diagnosed at 14, 26 now, with Keratoconus in both eyes. I have a mild form in my right eye which I wear a normal soft contact for, and I have a more advanced form in my left eye that I wear an RGP for. I had cross linking done on my bad eye (left) when I was 20 to stop the progression and it worked. We are actually seeing positive progress, though little, on annual scans. I just really hate the RGPs. I’ve lost at least 5 over the years, and if the slightest piece of dust gets in your eye you have to clean it off or suffer. Just remember there are people in worse spots. I feel terrible for the people who need corneal transplants. I hope this helps.

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  4. I was surprised to see your story. I lived in Indianapolis until 4 yrs ago before moving to Cincinnati. I was diagnosed at 16, I’m now 46. I’m waiting on approval for corneal cross linking at Price Vision Group in Carmel. If you’ve had progression over the last few years, you should call them for an evaluation. There weren’t really any options when I was younger. Glasses for awhile, tried RGP but for various reasons I couldn’t wear them. Then my optometrist in Carmel told me about 8 yrs ago that there really wasn’t anything more she could do for me. The earlier you take steps to stop progression, the better. All of that being said, I’m glad I came across your story. I was struggling tonight with knowing people I care about do not understand what I’m going through. I no longer recognize faces and television is difficult to watch. I can no longer drive at night and I had to walk away from my job as a registered respiratory therapist. There’s a really good group on Facebook for KC, very informative and nice to have people that understand what you’re dealing with. It is “Keratoconus Group”, it is a closed group but you can find it in the search. Good luck to you and thank you for sharing your story!

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  5. I love the colour of your eyes.

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