Sights set on eye health

Chloe FraserSound Telegraph
Ben Hutcheson, 13, is hoping a holistic approach to vision and eye health will help save his sight.
Camera IconBen Hutcheson, 13, is hoping a holistic approach to vision and eye health will help save his sight. Credit: Chloe Fraser

A Safety Bay boy diagnosed with a rare eye condition, which could send him blind, is hoping a holistic approach to vision and eye health will help save his sight.

In December 2017, 13-year-old Ben Hutcheson was diagnosed with degenerative eye disease retinitis pigmentosa.

Over time, the cells in Ben’s retina will degenerate, causing loss of peripheral vision and blindness.

His mother Renae said while Ben had experienced problems with his night vision since he was about seven, the diagnosis came as a shock.

“At the moment the major problem is his night blindness and the glare from the sun, he has to wear sunglasses every time he goes outside,” she said.

“As it progresses he will lose his peripheral vision and will progressively go blind.

“It will be like he is looking down a tunnel and each day the tunnel becomes narrower.”

While there is no cure for retinitis pigmentosa, Ben and his family have turned to acupuncture and naturopathy treatment in an attempt to prevent further deterioration of his vision.

“At the moment what we’re trying to do is press pause on it or slow it down,” Mrs Hutcheson said.

Ben undergoing treatment.
Camera IconBen undergoing treatment.

Two weeks ago, Ben travelled to Queensland to begin the first round of an intensive 12-month long acupuncture treatment.

If the results are positive, Ben and his mother will continue to travel to Queensland each year for follow-up treatment, until a cure is found.

The family have set up a GoFundMe page to help raise money to cover the initial cost for the first year of treatment, which is expected to be about $25,000.

In support of Ben’s cause, Acton Rockingham is holding a auction extravaganza on Saturday, February 16 from 10am.

In support of Ben’s case there will also be a charity auction with two pieces of artwork going under the hammer. A painting, valued at $1800 and donated by local artist Amanda Kimberley, will be one of the items up for auction on the day. A brushed aluminium artwork by Allen J Graham, donated by Jeff Krasnostein, will also be up for grabs.

Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.

Sign up for our emails