An Arbroath man who was thought to be experiencing regular migraines found out he had actually suffered a stroke, when he had his eyes tested.

All the symptoms Stuart, 36, was experiencing suggested he was suffering from migraines, especially given his age and active lifestyle. But an eye test revealed his symptoms were actually the result of a stroke he had unknowingly suffered days earlier.

Stuart visited Specsavers after getting a severe headache, vision loss and pins and needles while at a friend’s wedding. After a thorough examination, optometrist Marc Funai recommended he be seen at Ninewells Hospital, in Dundee, where a CT scan confirmed that he had suffered a stroke.

Stuart, who lives in Arbroath with wife of eight years, Leanne, and their son, Shay, 4, said: ‘I am not in any risk category for a stroke, I am a healthy young man who is active and doesn’t smoke. Everyone thought I was suffering from migraines, a stroke wasn’t even mentioned or on my radar before I visited Specsavers.’

A guest at the wedding was a nurse and was able to check Stuart over, suggesting his symptoms indicated a migraine and advising he call NHS24 the next day if he still felt unwell. With half his vision on his left side still missing the following day, Leanne called NHS24 who sent him to the out of hours GP service.

The doctor thought it was probably a migraine but asked Stuart to visit his own GP the next day. His GP also agreed with the initial diagnosis and ordered blood tests to be taken the following week. It was during this visit that it was suggested that he go for an eye test in the meantime.    

Stuart said: ‘When I called Specsavers they were really accommodating and booked me an appointment for the next day. The initial health check was fine, Marc said my eyes were healthy and then went on to check my vision.

He wasn’t happy with what he saw and consulted with his colleague on my results. He then called Ninewells and it was arranged for me to go the next day for a CT scan.

Throughout the whole process I never really thought there was anything seriously wrong and then to be told I had suffered a stroke was a shock.’

Stuart was immediately admitted to hospital and was monitored for a couple of days before being allowed home. Jamie Buchan, store director at Specsavers Arbroath, said: ‘We are pleased that Stuart came to see us when he did and we were able to help identify the cause of his headaches and vision loss.

At Specsavers our staff are committed to providing the best customer and healthcare service possible and when Marc spotted an irregularity in Stuart’s eye test he was keen to get to the root of the problem.

In cases like this, it just demonstrates how important it is that we are carrying out thorough eye tests so issues like this are picked up.'

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