A Richmond man has undergone potentially sight-saving surgery after a local optometrist helped identify signs of a serious condition.
A member of staff at Specsavers in King Street was on hand to help when the local man, a 50-year-old self-employed IT consultant, called the store after floating shapes appeared in his field of vision during the Easter weekend.
Due to the fact that Specsavers stores remain open for urgent and essential eyecare only during the Covid-19 outbreak, store director, Ross Campbell, was able to carry out aneye examination and OCT test in store.
After investigating theabnormalities, Rossimmediately referred the patient to specialists at the Sunderland Eye Infirmary with a suspected retinal detachment.This is when the thin layer at the back of your eye -the retina - becomes loose and it is essential that it is treated quickly to stop it permanently affecting your sight.
It's more likely to happen if you are short-sighted, have had trauma to the eye, or if you have a family history of retinal detachment.
A word from the store director
Ross Campbell, store director at Specsavers in Richmond, says: ‘I’m so glad that the patient got in touch when he did, as early detection and treatment of a retinal break is key for preventing sight loss.
‘We used an OCT machine to take a 3D scan of the patient’s eye. This is a hospital-grade piece of equipment which allows optometrists to view the eye in more detail than ever before and help can detect eye conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy.
‘After finding irregularities in the back of the eye, I referred the patient to Sunderland Eye Infirmary, where he was treated that same day.’
The patient underwent a series of tests at the hospital which confirmed he did have a retinal detachment and, if left untreated, could potentially have caused blindness. After being rushed to surgery, the retina was repaired.
Ross says: ‘I’m really pleased to hear that treatment has gone well for our patient and that he is resting and recovering now. The surgery he underwent was certainly sight-saving.
‘It goes to show just how important it is that Specsavers stores remain open for urgent and essential eye care services. Specsavers staff are classed as key workers because we support people - and other key workers - who couldn’t function without our help or would come to harm without our expertise, especially where the usual hospital services and NHS facilities are being prioritised for the fight against COVID-19.’
The Richmond store will be open as usual for emergencies with a skeleton staff in place adhering to social distancing. The support has been widened to include triage appointments carried out by phone, where possible.
In the first instance, customers should phone the store for advice and assessments on the level of care that they might need, the only exception being key workers who are able to walk in and seek immediate advice. Glasses and contact lenses can also be purchased over the phone for customers with a current prescription.
To speak to a member of the team or for emergency advice, please contact Specsavers Richmond on 01748 829 960.