Staff at Specsavers in Idle have helped save a grandmother’s eyesight after spotting the signs of early onset glaucoma.

Wrose resident Anita Wolstencroft first visited the practice in August for a routine test and told the optician that she had noticed a deterioration in her eyesight since her last examination. ‘I’ve always made sure to have my eyes tested at least every two years, so I wasn’t particularly worried that I had anything wrong with my eyesight at the time.’ said Anita about her routine check-up.

Double the normal level in the pressure test 

But it was during a pressure test that it became clear that Anita had a problem with her eyes, with the pressure in Anita’s eye being over double the normal level.

‘I could tell during the test that I couldn’t see as well as the last time I visited,’ said Anita, ‘But when they told me I needed to go to the hospital I really started to panic, I thought, am I going blind?’

After being immediately referred to the hospital, Anita was diagnosed with early onset glaucoma.

Glaucoma is an eye condition where the optic nerve – the nerve that connects your eye to your brain, becomes damaged. A common condition, it usually occurs when fluid in the eye cannot drain properly, increasing pressure on the optic nerve.

Although glaucoma can affect people of all ages, it is most common in adults over the age of 70.

Once it was confirmed that she had the condition, Anita was given eye drops to use twice a day.

Dramatic improvement 

Three months on, Anita’s eyesight has improved dramatically. ‘I’m so glad I had my eyes tested when I did,’ said Anita, ‘If I had left it for another couple of months my eyesight could have deteriorated so much more, and it could have been worse.’

‘With eye conditions like glaucoma, early detection is essential.’ said Poonam Dharni, senior optometrist at Specsavers in Idle.

‘If diagnosed early the condition can be treated and further damage can be minimised and prevented, but if left untreated glaucoma can cause visual impairment and damage that cannot be reversed.’

Specsavers in Idle is urging those over 60 to come into practice for a free eye examination. Taking just minutes, an eye test could diagnose and treat the condition, and give you peace of mind that you are in the best of health.

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