If it hadn’t been for his wife, Richard Davies could potentially have lost the sight in his left eye. But thanks to her, and to their local opticians, a sight-threatening condition was picked up just in time.
The 55-year-old from Didcot started to have mild headaches and see strange black dots in his vision. He’d bumped his head following an innocuous accident and just put it down to that. It was only when a few days later and it hadn’t improved that his wife, Toni, became increasingly concerned. After speaking with Specsavers in Didcot, she booked him an appointment to go into the store
Despite the store being closed for routine testing, due to the lockdown restrictions at that time, the team were still on hand to see urgent cases, like Richard’s.
‘To be honest, I would have put off seeing an optician all together, but as Toni had made the appointment I went along to appease her,’ comments Richard.
A sight-saving appointment
At the store the team practised the appropriate safety and hygiene measures and he was seen by optometrist and store director Rukhsana Bi, who carried out a full eye examination. This included an OCT (optical coherence tomography) scan which allowed her to look deeper into Richard’s eyes – giving an accurate picture of their structures.
‘The OCT scan uses light to take more than 1,000 images of the back of your eye and beyond, looking right back to the optic nerve and creating a cross-section view,’ says Rukhsana. ‘The added benefit of the scan is that we can store the customer’s OCT images so they can note changes over time – a real benefit to the monitoring of someone’s overall eye health.’
The examinations revealed a suspected detached retina in Richard’s left eye and so Rukhsana called the John Radcliffe Hospital right away and sent across the scans for the specialists to review. ‘It then began to dawn on me that my sight was in danger,’ adds Richard. ‘But Rukhsana was very reassuring.’
The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye. It’s responsible for receiving light and translating it into electrical signals to send to the brain, where it creates the images we see.
Richard attended the hospital the next day where he underwent surgery under local anaesthetic. Three weeks later his vision is 95% back in his left eye and he’s returned to work.
Open with you in mind
‘I’m just so grateful to Toni and to Specsavers – without them I could have lost the sight in my eye,’ continues Richard. ‘I’ve not really thought about the importance of seeing an optician before, but I’ll certainly be encouraging others to make sure they don’t put off any concerns they have with their sight.’
‘It’s great to hear that Richard has made such a swift recovery,’ adds Rukhsana. ‘Stories like his do show that you should never put off seeing your optician if you are having any vision issues - the sooner these things are picked up the better.’