Eye check helps save sight
The white lines on the road seemed to wobble slightly as she drove.
But Blenheim woman Wendy Reynolds, 67, put occasional problems with her sight down to age.
However, the elder care co-ordinator was experiencing symptoms of a disease that could have left her blind.
A routine eye check uncovered the condition, macular degeneration, and Reynolds wants to warn others to get regular eye checks.
‘‘Just sometimes when I was driving, the lines on the road wobbled and seem to split. I wear glasses and thought I just needed new ones.
‘‘I went in for an ordinary eye test and the optician said he was sorry to tell me that I needed to see a specialist straight away. But even then I didn’t really think anything of it,’’ she said.
Macular degeneration is the leading cause of blindness in New Zealand, affecting one in seven people aged over 50. Early detection and prompt treatment is vital.
The age-related condition is a growing problem in New Zealand with more than 200,000 people thought to suffer from it.
It causes progressive macular damage resulting in loss of central vision while peripheral vision is not affected.
‘‘I hadn’t even heard of it before, I thought the optician was probably just being overly cautious. I was quite blase about it really,’’ Reynolds said.
‘‘I saw a specialist privately and he told me that I needed to have injections in my eyes for the rest of my life and that if I didn’t, I could go blind. It was a shock.’’
Reynolds is now having regular Pharmac-funded Eylea injections, which has improved the condition in one eye.
But she said her left eye had proved more problematic.
The proud owner of a new $120,000 mobile home, Reynolds said she was worried that one day she would not be able to drive it.
The keen animal lover, who shows her pedigree poodles around New Zealand, said the disease had sometimes made it more difficult to attend events. Las Vegas investors suing the director of an upmarket Nelson winery business will soon get their day in court.
The Court of Appeal has upheld a High Court judge’s decision dismissing Mahana Estates director Glenn Schaeffer’s bid to end or delay the case on the grounds he feared violence from threats by one of the investors.
Schaeffer is being sued by former friends, Las Vegas entertainment executives James Murren and Daniel Lee, who invested in the Mahana business.
They are seeking to recover their investments – $1.6 million for Murren and $700,000 for Lee – alleging ‘‘negligent misstatement, deceit and fraudulent misrepresentation’’ by Schaeffer. A trial is scheduled for the High Court at Nelson this month.
The Mahana Estates business, which has been on the market, went into receivership last month.
Schaeffer asked the case to be struck out because during a mediation hearing a year ago he said Lee had made threats against him that ‘‘he knew where I lived, knew where my family lived and knew where my dogs lived’’.
‘‘He said if I did not give him back his money that he would bury me in the desert like in the old days, he would destroy my children’s lives and bankrupt my ex-wife and travel to Omaha to kill my three show dogs.’’
Lee denied such a threat was made. He said he had told Schaeffer if the dispute had happened in the ‘‘old days’’, he might have ‘‘ended up buried in the Nevada desert’’, but things were done differently now.
Schaeffer said his ability to defend the case was prejudiced because of the fears of violence. In his appeal, he said the High Court should have further examined the impact of the threats and called witnesses.