When Andy Kitchen from Abingdon noticed a blur move across his vision, he suspected all wasn’t quite right, but what he didn’t appreciate was that he was in danger of losing his sight.
The 54-year-old father of two noticed a curtain like shadow appear across his vison while shopping at his local supermarket. Having never experienced anything like it before he decided to get it checked out and, after seeing his local GP, made an emergency appointment to see his regular opticians, Specsavers in Abingdon.
Mr Kitchen was seen by the store’s optical director Atul Vadgama, who quickly suspected a retinal detachment and immediately referred him to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford. Here, following additional tests, the diagnosis was confirmed and Mr Kitchen was advised he would require surgery the following day to re-attach the retina.
‘It was quite a shock, and all seemed to happen so fast,’ comments Mr Kitchen. ‘I underwent the surgery under general anaesthetic and fortunately, it all went well, with the retina re-attached and some small holes repaired too.’
Mr Kitchen returned to work following a fortnights’ recuperation and is now waiting for follow-up surgery to treat a cataract, which is a common side effect of the operation. Following this procedure, it’s anticipated his vision will be restored to how it was prior to the detachment.
‘I’m so grateful to Atul and his team at Specsavers for their prompt action and to the doctors and staff at the hospital for their care and attention,’ continues Andy. ‘If I’d left it any longer it may well have been impossible to repair the damage and I may have lost the sight in that eye.
‘I’ve always appreciated the importance of regular eye examinations, but this just goes to show how you should never put off seeing an optician if you suspect something is wrong.’
Reminder to get your eye checked
‘We’re pleased that Mr Kitchen’s surgery was successful and that there are no long-term side effects as a result of the complication,’ adds Atul. ‘Cases like this really do show that you should never put off seeing your optician if you are concerned about a problem with your eyes – the sooner these things are picked up the better.’
The optometrists at Specsavers Abingdon have accreditations in glaucoma and minor eye conditions (MECs). It means the store can offer eye health services to help manage a number of eye conditions allowing more people to be treated in-store rather than having to go to their GP or hospital. Anyone experiencing symptoms such as pain, redness or flashes of light in their vision can access these services.