A nurse who recently recovered from COVID-19 had to receive urgent eye care for a neurological disorder thought to have been triggered by the virus.
Specsavers Redcar staff were on hand to help the front line key worker who contacted the practice to say that since getting better, she had developed a fixed dilated pupil in one eye.
Specsavers stores remain open for urgent and essential eye care during the Covid-19 outbreak, so store director Andrew Higginson was able to carry out a remote phone consultation with the nurse to discuss her symptoms.
A word from the store director
Andrew said: ‘The nurse got in touch to say that she had recently experienced a change in her eyes – one pupil was larger than usual and it was fixed that way.
‘I suspected that she had Holmes-Adie syndrome, secondary to having contracted COVID-19.’
Holmes-Adie Syndrome (HAS) is a neurological disorder where one pupil is significantly larger than the other and constricts slowly in bright lights. It is thought to be caused by a viral infection that leads to inflammation and damage in the part of the brain that controls eye movement.
After investigating the abnormalities, Andrew immediately referred the patient to specialists at James Cook University Hospital with his suspected diagnosis.
Within 48 hours, the nurse underwent a series of tests at the hospital which confirmed she did have the condition. She was given drops to help treat the disorder by encouraging the pupil to constrict.
Andrew said: ‘I’m delighted to have been able to help this nurse and I couldn’t be more grateful for the vital, life-saving work that the NHS is undertaking during the current crisis.
‘We are still learning about coronavirus and the different ways it can affect people and different parts of their bodies. We do know, however, that viruses and infections are often the main cause of HAS.
‘It goes to show just how important it is that Specsavers stores remain open for urgent and essential eye care services. And thanks to Specsavers RemoteCare, members of the public can access vital advice and care from optometrists and audiologists, via video and telephone link.’
In a bid to further support members of the community – including those who are elderly, vulnerable or self-isolating – staff at Specsavers in Recar have also been delivering prescriptions to doorsteps and carrying out glasses repairs, adhering to social distancing rules.
As well as RemoteCare, anyone concerned about their eye and hearing health can access care through a variety of ways, including ‘Specsavers Ask the Expert’ public group on Facebook and the Specsavers website care hub. Customers who have an existing prescription can buy glasses and contact lenses online at specsavers.co.uk
To speak to a member of the team or for general queries about glasses, contact lenses or hearing aids; including replacements or repairs, customers can still call the store on 01642 491234 and a member of staff will be able to help.