A nineteen year old student who is a customer of Specsavers in Alton is urging local residents to visit their opticians for an eye test following her recent experience that resulted in a potentially life-threatening condition being discovered.

Bad headaches

Stephanie Brandenburg had been experiencing bad headaches over a six-month period when she booked an appointment with her local Specsavers. During her eye examination, swelling of the optic disc, a condition known as papilloedema, was suspected.

Life-threatening condition

Papilloedema indicates raised pressure inside the skull, which could be caused by life-threatening conditions such as a brain tumour or bleeding. The condition is considered an ocular emergency.

The store called the eye department at Frimley Hospital and arranged an urgent referral for Stephanie. Stephanie attended her hospital appointment where the doctors found the pressure inside her skull was double the norm, which was causing the papilloedema.

Glad she went to Specsavers

Following a MRI scan, Stephanie was diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension – which is raised pressure inside the skull without a detectable cause. Stephanie received a lumbar puncture to control the swelling and now takes medication to manage the condition.

While it is impossible to know what could have transpired if Stephanie hadn’t visited Specsavers, Jo is relieved it was caught in time before anything more serious occurred.

She says: 'I am so thankful to Jo Duncan who conducted my sight test. I had a feeling something wasn’t quite right with the headaches I was experiencing and if I hadn’t visited Specsavers, I dread to think what could have happened.'

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Jo Duncan, store director 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 general health and wellbeing too, as demonstrated in this case.

We would encourage people to make a visit to Specsavers part of their healthcare routine, in the same way you would regularly visit the dentist. It can, in rare cases, potentially save a life.'

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