Redhill mum, Caroline, is urging other parents to get their children's eyes examined after her own six year old daughter’s test uncovered a neurological disorder that causes increased pressure around the brain.
Eye test shows concern for optician
Nick Bradshaw. optical director at Specsavers in Redhill conducted Laneisha's eye test and when examining the back of the eye, he noticed a concern. When looking at her optic nerve, which enters the back of the eye directly from the brain, he detected that both nerves were severely swollen and pushing forward.
This condition is called pappiloedema that can potentially be life threatening or lead to brain damage and blindness.
What is pappiloedema?
Nick said: 'Indicators of pappilodema is something every optometrist dreads, especially in a child, as it is a definitive sign that there is a raised pressure in the fluid around the brain. It can usually be caused by a brain tumour, a foreign mass, a lesion or a bleed, or a completely unknown reason causing the pressure to increase. In either case, the course of action is immediate and an emergency.'
What happened next?
Nick wrote an emergency referral for A&E and gave it to Laneisha's mother so she could immediately take her daughter straight to the hospital for the doctors to conduct further investigations and confirm the diagnosis.
Significant swelling was confirmed, but after multiple tests, her condition was found to be idiopathic intracranial hypertension - a neurological disorder that is characterised by increased pressure around the brain.
Caught at the right time
Laneisha has since undergone treatment to reduce this pressure and will continue to be monitored for life. Laneisha is currently taking medication to manage the condition. Caroline is so grateful to Nick Bradshaw at Specavers and shudders when she thinks what could have happened if she hadn’t visited the store back in the summer.
She said: 'I am indebted to Nick for his prompt action and for picking up my daughter’s condition. Before her sight test, I was completely unaware that an optometrist looked at the overall health of the eye as well as for issues with vision. I am so thankful that I booked my children’s sight tests and urge other parents to do the same. I have been telling all my friends to make it a priority.'
Importance of regular sight tests
Nick said: 'When conducting an eye examination, you are looking at the complete health of the eye. Many people are not aware that our eyes can tell us a lot of vital information about our health and wellbeing. This is why an eye examination is imperative every two years. It can, in rare cases, potentially save a life.'