Charles Groenhuijsen escapes explosion of his right eye

Charles Groenhuijsen is lucky that he can still read the autocue at Op1. The presenter’s right eye threatened to explode. “Because of gas in my eyeball.”

© Wessel de Groot/MAX

Anyone looking at his beautiful gray hair will think that Charles Groenhuijsen was very lucky in the gene lottery, but nothing could be further from the truth. He has suffered from a torn retina twice in his life. “My retina has torn in both my eyes at different times,” reveals the Op1 presenter in the latest Story.

torn retina

The first time it was his left eye and he only saw a kind of half black moon at the bottom of his eye, Charles says. “Then I was transported to the hospital lying on the back seat. Lying down, because otherwise your retina can tear further. In Rotterdam I received excellent help at the time.”

Very nice, but during a stay in America it suddenly went wrong with his other eye, namely the right eye. “This time it was really scary. The retina was torn in half.”

Eye Explosion

That operation did not go well. There were only two options after that, Charles says. “The first is a treatment where gas is injected into your eyeball to hold it in place. But then you can’t fly, because then your eye will explode.”

It is a good thing that Charles paid close attention at the time during his talk with the doctor, because otherwise his return flight to the Netherlands would have ended quite explosively. Fortunately, he chose the second option. “Where oil is sprayed in your eye.”

60 percent blind

What happened to that oil? Not tasty. “That got to me. It caused an allergic reaction, so you often saw me with a red eye.”

A doctor then had to spoon all those leaked globules of oil from his eye. The result? Charles is half blind in one eye. “For 50 to 60 percent.”


The latest Story, containing many more ins and outs about Charles’ medical situation, is currently in stores.