A Barnet resident owes her sight to an optician who discovered a swelling of the optic nerve in her right eye during an eye examination.

Blurred vision

In 2012, 42-year-old mother of two, Emma Wilson, visited Specsavers Barnet, located at 104 High Street, after experiencing blurred vision. Worried it was glaucoma, which runs in her family, Emma decided to book an eye test.

Immediately referred to hospital

During a thorough eye examination, the optometrist, Deepa Vekaria, noticed ripples on Emma’s right eye and immediately referred her to Moorfields Eye Hospital for an appointment the following morning. There she underwent a series of tests before going to Chase Farm Hospital where she stayed for a week.

Rare condition discovered

Further tests revealed that Emma was suffering from a rare condition called bilateral papilledema and the ripples on her eye were caused by a benign tumour. She had to endure a series of lumbar punctures to drain the excess fluid and relieve the pressure on her brain and optic nerve caused by the condition.

No cure

Over the last two years Emma has been in and out of hospital and now has to take medication for the rest of her life, as there is no cure. In fact, specialists have confirmed that Emma had been living with the condition since she first started wearing reading glasses 11 years ago.

Terrifying ordeal

Emma says: ‘This has been an absolutely terrifying ordeal. Although I’ve lost the sight in my right eye, if I hadn’t visited Specsavers when I did I could have lost the sight in my other eye too, as well as experiencing more debilitating headaches, vomiting and even seizures.’

‘I can’t thank Deepa and the team at Specsavers enough. They handled the situation so calmly and professionally, I couldn’t have been in safer hands.

Simple eye test saved sight

‘To think that a simple eye test – my first in 11 years – at a high street opticians saved my sight is astonishing. After my experience I’ve told all my friends how important it is to visit an opticians regularly. It’s such a quick and easy process and one that can really change your life.’

Although Emma has recovered well following her ordeal, she still has to visit a neurologist every six months to monitor her condition.

Importance of regular eye tests

Pragna Raghwani, Specsavers Barnet ophthalmic director, comments: ‘We’re so pleased that Emma’s treatment has been successful. It just goes to show how important an eye examination is, not only in testing your vision, but also in the detection of a number of potentially harmful issues.’

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