My vision

“Eye care is one of the most important things”

Rosemary Shrager discusses her family history of glaucoma and why good vision is crucial to her role as a chef

Rosemary Shrager

There is a history of glaucoma within my family. My father, my grandmother and my two great aunts had glaucoma. My grandmother eventually went blind from the condition.

My father had glaucoma earlier in life, in his late 40s and early 50s. He had to put in drops every day. They couldn’t operate on the type of glaucoma he had; he dealt with it, but he couldn’t see very well.

I haven’t got glaucoma but they say in one of my eyes they can see something in the very early stages. I make sure that I have regular eye exams to make sure that everything is alright.

Rosemary trying on frames

Eye health awareness is terribly important and so promoting National Eye Health Week with Specsavers suited me down to the ground. I think the most important point is that you need to go for regular eye exams.

I tell people you need to go for your two-year check-up as recommended, but if you do have a history of glaucoma in your family then it needs to become a yearly check-up. I didn’t realise that glaucoma is so hereditary. Through my work with Specsavers I have found that they have optical coherence tomography machines, which are wonderful as they are hospital grade and allow the optician to carefully monitor changes to your eyes.

My father, my grandmother and my two great aunts had glaucoma


Vision matters to me

Vision is incredibly important to me. Without my vision, I couldn’t do the work I do as a chef. It would make it difficult to do demonstrations and I couldn’t be in the kitchen because it would be too dangerous. It would affect my career enormously.

I think we all take vision for granted. I certainly was one of those people who did. We don’t look after our eyes enough and people don’t realise that if they go for regular eye tests, clinicians can detect things like diabetes, glaucoma and even tumours earlier. They can help you at that stage and do something about it. But if you leave it, then it is too late. I think eye care is one of the most important things. 

  • As told to Selina Powell.

Image credit: Specsavers