Blurred vision prompted Cannock resident and care sector worker, Kathleen Hawkins, to make an appointment at her local Specsavers who helped diagnose a fluid build-up behind her eye which needed hospital treatment.
The 61-year-old initially thought the blurry vision and pain she was feeling in her left eye was down to a cataract operation she’d had in February. When it started to get worse she went online to request an appointment at the Cannock store.
Build-up of fluid
Optometrist Jaspreet Dhaliwal called her back and after asking a few questions, knew that Mrs Hawkins needed to come into the store. While currently closed for all routine testing, the team is available for urgent and essential eye care, especially to help key workers.
‘I work in admin in the care sector so as a key worker, it’s really important that I’m able to continue doing my job, particularly at the moment,’ commented Mrs Hawkins. ‘As the blurriness got worse and a yellow spot started appearing when I tried to read anything, I decided I needed to get it checked. I was relieved when I found out Specsavers was open.
‘After I’d had a scan taken of my eyes, Jaspreet told me she could see a build-up of fluid which was likely causing the vision distortion and I needed to go to hospital. It wasn’t what I was expecting at all. She referred me immediately and when I got home, I has a phone call from New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton to say I should come in the next day.’
Further tests and a scan revealed that there was fluid behind the macula in the left eye and a steroid injection was required to disperse it.
‘I was given a local anaesthetic before the procedure which wasn’t very pleasant as the needle has to go directly into the eye and I definitely felt a little nick,’ continued Mrs Hawkins. ‘But it was a success and I’m now administering two lots of eye drops to help with the recovery process, with a follow-up appointment booked for next month. I’m just so grateful for Jaspreet’s help and prompt action which meant I could get the treatment I needed. I’ve already noticed that the blurring is decreasing.’
‘When Mrs Hawkins told me she’d had a cataract operation earlier in the year, I did think that might be the cause,’ said Jaspreet. ‘Her vision was actually only slightly reduced but with the help of the optical coherence tomography scan (OCT), which gives a very detailed picture of the layers in the eye, I could clearly see the macula was raised and there was a darker area. This was in direct contrast to the right eye so I knew something wasn’t right.
‘I’m delighted that Mrs Hawkins was able to be seen so quickly after I referred her and that the outcome has been positive. While we’re having to do things a bit differently at the moment, we’re still available to help with any urgent eye conditions. If you notice any changes to your vision, it’s really important that you get it checked by an optician.’