A customer of the Porthcawl store is urging others to have their eyes checked after his optician spotted signs of a cancerous tumour before the disease spread to the rest of his body.
NHS funded eyecare
Matthew Davies, 40, had been suffering from symptoms that he feared was conjunctivitis, so popped into John Street Specsavers, which was offering eye examinations funded by the Welsh Eye Care Service.
This service enables people in Wales to access NHS funded emergency eyecare when they have an acute problem.
While carrying out Mr Davies’ examination, Claire Edwards, ophthalmic director of the Porthcawl store, detected what she suspected might be a choroidal melanoma.
This is a cancer which grows in the tissues in the middle layer of the eyeball. She immediately referred him to the Princess of Wales hospital in Bridgend.
Ms Edwards’ suspicions were confirmed during an examination by a consultant and he was referred to a specialist team at the Royal University Hospital Liverpool. He underwent five days of radiotherapy and for the next two years must visit the consultant for bi-annual check-ups.
Caught just in time
Mr Davies said: ‘I later found out if I had waited any longer, the cancer could have spread to my optic nerve and then to the rest of my body. I can’t thank Claire enough for what she did.’
Mr Davies is keen to share his story, in the hope it will encourage others to get their eyes tested more regularly.
Ms Edwards adds: ‘What happened to Matthew may be unusual, but it is certainly an important reminder of how vital regular eye tests are in helping detect health issues. If you are concerned in any way about your eyes or general vision, you should visit an opticians as soon as possible.’