A Hemel Hempstead resident who endured Storm Doris to have a last minute eye test has praised his local Specsavers team for identifying a medical condition that could have cost him his sight.

Jim Turner became concerned after his vision went blurry and he noticed something drifting across his eye. The 68-year-old museum worker raised his concerns with staff at Specsavers Hemel Hempstead who booked him in for an eye test.

A more serious issue

Although Jim initially thought he would just need his eyes washed out he quickly discovered the issue was more serious.

Speaking about the ordeal, Jim said: ‘On the day of Storm Doris I noticed something drifting across the surface of my eye which was making my vision blurred. It wasn’t painful but I thought I should call Specsavers to see if they could wash it out.

'After examining the health of my eyes, my optician Meera explained that I might have a tear in the retina and I needed to go immediately to Moorfields Eye Hospital in London.

‘I was concerned about how I was going to get there as it was late in the day and all the trains were cancelled because of the storm. I eventually arrived at the hospital around 10.30pm where various tests were carried out.

'They confirmed I had a retinal tear and made an appointment for me to go back the next morning for laser treatment, which was uncomfortable but painless and took only five minutes.’

Putting it into perspective

Meera Kataria, the newly-qualified optician who treated Jim, said: ‘I examined the inside of Mr Turner’s eyes and found that the change in his vision was caused by a small tear in the edge of his retina.

‘Following my immediate referral to hospital they were able to fix the tear without causing permanent damage to his vision. Had Mr Turner not thought to book an ap-pointment early, there would have been a strong chance he would have permanently lost or damaged his eyesight.

'It is so important to get your eyes tested every two years and check out any changes in your vision as soon as possible.’

Jim added: ‘I met someone at the hospital who had intended to get a check-up for a while but hadn’t got round to visiting his optician. He woke up that morning and couldn’t see out of one eye.

'The doctor told him it was because of a tear which had caused the retina to become detached, but it was discovered he also had a large tear in the retina of his other eye.

‘That really put into perspective for me how important it is to get symptoms checked and have regular eye checks. I am so thankful to Meera for her quick-thinking, and also to staff at Moorfields. Without them I could have lost my vision completely.’

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