Four-time Grammy Nominee Ezra Idlet is widely known for his musical talents, but for National Glaucoma Week March 10th – March 17th, he wants to shine light on another part of his life, his journey with glaucoma. A towering presence, standing six feet eight inches, Ezra was immediately recognizable when he first walked into Vold Vision. A familiar face as one of the singers in the popular band, Trout Fishing in America that has been entertaining audiences across the U.S. since 1977.
Having worn glasses for 33 years, Ezra was going in for a normal check-up when he learned he had glaucoma. He admits his busy lifestyle made him far from an ideal glaucoma patient. “When I was first diagnosed, I didn’t realize how serious it really was,” he shared. “I was not a very good patient when it came to taking my daily eye drops.” However, that all changed when a follow-up exam showed his intra ocular pressure (IOP) had taken a jump in the wrong direction. Ezra’s optometrist referred him to glaucoma specialist, Dr. Steven Vold at Vold Vision in Northwest Arkansas.
“Ezra is a very talented guy. He’s also very funny,” Dr. Vold said. “I remember him telling the story of how the loveable Elmo had won one of the Grammy’s he was nominated for. He had us all laughing about how a puppet had beat him.” The Vold Vision team couldn’t take on Elmo for Ezra, but glaucoma was an entirely different story. “Since surgery, we have been able to get Ezra’s pressure under control. Our team evaluates him every six months, just to make sure we are staying on top of his prognosis. With glaucoma, staying ahead of the curve is key. We want to make sure we do our part to keep this musician doing what he loves,” Dr. Vold said.
After his experience, Ezra now passes on his personal learning with the disease. “Glaucoma is something one better think long and hard about and take it seriously. It doesn’t hurt, so you don’t even realize what is happening to you,” he shared. “The damage it’s doing to your eyes can be irrevocable. The thought of losing my vision made me sit up think!”
When interviewing Ezra, it seemed only fitting to end by asking where his love for music comes from. He shared, “It’s just me. I feel complete in doing what I do. I always have — all aspects music. The well is incredibly deep, and I’ll never arrive at a finishing place. As much as I know music, it’s still a deep mystery.”
Ezra Idlet – a recorder, writer, producer and multi-instrumentalists, and winning the battle against glaucoma.
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