Louise Robinson is encouraging Wigston locals to have their sight checked regularly, after an optician at Specsavers in Wigston picked up a potentially sight-threatening condition during a routine eye test.

It had been seven years since Louise’s last examination, when a routine eye test uncovered something more sinister than a change of prescription. She had been experiencing mild headaches, but had put this down to the time she spent in front of a computer screen in her role as a locality administrator for the East Midlands Ambulance Service. Upon examination it became clear that the headaches were actually a symptom of something else entirely.

The diagnosis

Tina Chudasama, optometrist, spotted something unusual during the test. ‘The optic nerve heads at the back of Louise’s eyes appeared swollen and elevated, and the margins of the optic discs were indistinct. I instantly thought this looked like papilledema, so arranged an immediate referral to the Leicester Royal Infirmary.’

Diagnosis is usually signposted by identifying swelling of the optic disc, caused by a rise in intracranial pressure – pressure within the skull. It’s usually a symptom of another condition that causes the swelling so identifying the root cause as soon as possible is vital. Without diagnosis and treatment, it can result in loss of vision.

When Tina spotted the indications of papilledema, she knew that she had to make the referral to hospital – fast. Louise went to the hospital straight away, and following initial tests, was asked to come back the following day for a CT scan to identify the cause of the swelling. The scan came back clear with no evidence of any tumours, so she was given a further appointment for a lumbar puncture to alleviate the pressure. The results of the lumbar puncture came back clear in November, indicating that the pressure was benign in its cause, and Louise is now symptom free.

A word from Louise

She recently visited the Wigston store again to select her new frames and to thank Tina for her swift action. Speaking of her experience she says: ‘Although there was nothing untoward in the long term, it’s better to be safe than sorry, and I will always be grateful to Tina for her prompt referral. The headaches I was experiencing have disappeared, thanks to my new glasses, and without Tina’s swift action, the papilledema may have gone undiagnosed and mild headaches would have been the least of my worries!

‘I would encourage everyone to have their vision tested regularly, even if you don’t think there is a problem, but especially if you’ve experienced any changes to your sight or are suffering from headaches.’

Tina comments: ‘We’re so pleased to hear that Louise has been given the all-clear, and that her headaches have gone. It really does highlight the importance of regular eye tests, and that everyone should be mindful of any changes in their vision’.

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