A Carnoustie man has praised his local optician for identifying a condition which, without receiving prompt treatment, could have led to permanent sight loss.
Edward Malcolm (84) visited Specsavers in Arbroath after noticing the sight in his left eye began to deteriorate.
Edward was examined by principal optometrist Clair Donaldson and swiftly referred to the Hospital Eye Service at Ninewells Hospital where he was diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration (AMD).
A word from our principal optometrist
Clair said: ‘Mr Malcolm had wet AMD, which develops when abnormal blood vessels grow into the macula.
‘The blood vessels leak blood or fluid which leads to scarring of the macula and rapid loss of central vision.
‘Wet AMD can develop very suddenly, and it is imperative it is treated quickly to avoid further damage and in many cases recovery and improvement are often seen. Mr Malcolm did the right thing by contacting us when he started to suffer symptoms as it enabled us to refer him to Ninewells for prompt treatment.’
Edward, who has been treated regularly for glaucoma in his right eye over the past five to six years, started to find it difficult to focus with his left eye. An avid reader, he noticed a difference in particular when trying to focus on words on a page.
Edward said: ‘Over a very short space of time, I found I was having great difficulty with my eyesight. When attempting to read, words appeared to move on the page and it was very disorientating.
‘A couple of days later I booked an appointment at Specsavers and I’m so glad I didn’t wait any longer.’
Edward has received three courses of injections in his left eye and began to see an improvement in his vision within days.
Clair explains: ‘The injections stop the growth of the abnormal blood vessels and after three, patients are monitored to ensure no further treatment is required.’
Edward adds: ‘The thought of having injections in my eye was daunting, I can completely understand why people can be tempted to put off going to the opticians if they have a problem, but I’d urge them not to delay.
‘The process was very quick and painless and the difference in my eyesight was unbelievable. My vision is so much brighter and clearer and I can see a massive difference to the extent that it feels better than it was before.
‘For example, I usually play golf around three times a week and I can now see the ball so much better! ‘It’s also had a huge impact on restoring my confidence in driving further afield rather than just the local area.
‘I’m absolutely over the moon with the results and would like to thank Clair and the staff at Specsavers for assisting me so quickly.
‘I’ve been visiting the store for my eye examinations for around five or six years and it’s obvious that the team really cares about what they do. They always deliver a first class service from the moment I walk through the door.’
Research published by Specsavers and charity the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), shows one in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime despite at least half of all cases being avoidable. The statistics also show that 300 people in the UK start living with sight loss every day.