The swift care of a Specsavers Sutton Coldfield optician and an NHS medical team have helped save a local man’s sight.

Ray Boyles, aged 65, is a regular customer of Specsavers in Sutton Coldfield, having worn glasses for the last 20 years. But, while on holiday, he became unwell with a fever and started seeing floaters (black dots, specks or streaks that float across your field of vision).

Mistaked eye symptoms as part of virus

While some of his symptoms had improved by the time he had returned home, Ray was still experiencing some issues with his vision. Having assumed that the floaters were part of his virus, Ray was therefore, rather concerned.

‘I’d not experienced anything like this before, so made an appointment to see my local GP that day. He recommended that I see my optician and fortunately Specsavers in Sutton Coldfield were able to see me almost immediately.’

Full eye examination

Ray was seen by one of the store’s optometrists, Sadia Ejaz, who carried out a full eye examination and expressed her concern about a possible retinal tear. She immediately referred Ray onto the Birmingham Midland Eye Centre where, after additional tests and a consultation with the retinal specialist, they confirmed a retinal detachment to his left eye.

A retinal detachment occurs when the thin lining at the back of the eye - the retina -  begins to pull away from the blood vessels that supply it with oxygen and nutrients.

Successful operation

The following day Ray was operated on to re-attach the retina; fortunately it was successful and he is now home enjoying good vision.

Ray said: ‘My main retirement hobby involves painting small model figures, and I rely on good eyesight to do this. If the teams involved hadn’t acted so promptly then there’s a good chance I would have lost the sight in my left eye. That’s a terrifying thought. But thanks to the GP, optician and doctors at the hospital my sight is now as good as it was before the incident.

‘I’ve been telling people that if they experience similar symptoms they should book an eye test and not put it off. Without visiting the optician and addressing my symptoms, I might not have received treatment until it was too late.’

A word from the optician

Sadia said: ‘Mr Boyles’s story really highlights the importance of regular eye examinations and in seeking advice if you are experiencing any problems with your vision.

‘It’s also worth saying that sight tests aren’t just important for your vision but also for your general health, as other problems can be detected including, high blood pressure, brain tumours and diabetes.

‘We’d urge everyone to make sure that they have their eyes tested every two years, unless they’re experiencing any problems, like Mr Boyles, in which case they should visit their optician sooner.’

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