Local business owner reveals cataracts hindered her driving ability

 A great-grandmother has told how she only discovered she was suffering from cataracts – after her son pointed out she was driving down the middle of the road.

Susan Cooper, from Milton Keynes, said several people had criticised her skills behind the wheel, but she dismissed their concerns until her son Martin, 40, stepped in.

Don't ignore the signs

The 69-year-old – who runs her own cleaning business – is now urging others not to ignore the signs of sight loss.

She said: ‘I’m very independent when it comes to my health and wellbeing. Several people had mentioned that my driving hadn’t been good but I was completely unaware so kept putting off the visit to the opticians, believing my eyesight to be fine.

‘Eventually I realised I had to go after my son mentioned that I’d been driving in the middle of the road, which completely shocked me.’

Susan visited her local Specsavers, who referred her to see a consultant at Blakelands Hospital in Milton Keynes.

Fantastic customer service

She said: ‘The team at Specsavers was fantastic and spotted the cataract straight away. Until they asked me to cover my healthy eye, my vision - as far as I was concerned - wasn’t impaired. It was such a surprise to be told that I needed to be referred to hospital right away for treatment.’

Susan was booked in for an operation a couple of months after the initial consultation at and the cataract was removed successfully.

Susan recalls: ‘My eyesight at this point had definitely deteriorated and I’d needed to wear driving glasses which was very strange for me. My eyesight is good for my age and, unless I’m reading, I never need to use specs. There was a feeling of relief knowing that I could go back to driving without glasses after the operation.’

A second cataract was also detected and later removed from her other eye and Susan’s vision has since returned to normal.

She said: ‘When I think back to how my eyesight had deteriorated, and how much worse things could have been for me, I feel so relieved that I did eventually visit the opticians. I just wish I’d done something about it sooner. I was very stubborn but it doesn’t bear thinking about what could have happened if I hadn’t done anything about it, and it only takes a quick appointment which can ultimately save your sight.’

Good news

Specsavers Milton Keynes store director Rajesh Shah is delighted to hear of Susan’s recovery: ‘Susan is such an independent and active woman and we could tell that anything which would threaten this would have a huge effect on her life.

‘We are so pleased to hear that both her operations have been successful and that she is back to being her normal, lively self.

‘Our mission together with the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB) is to transform the nation’s eye health through education, awareness and action; we want to reverse these worrying eye health trends that are putting unnecessary pressure on the health service and placing a massive burden on the public purse.’

The partnership comes at an exciting time, with recent findings from the RNIB and Specsavers’ State of the Nation: Eye Health Report 2017, which emphasises the need for greater awareness about eye health in the UK and in promoting prevention through education.

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