A carnoustie woman has praised her optician at Specsavers for helping to save her from permanent sight loss.

Prompt visit to the store

Mary Heywood visited Specsavers in Arbroath as soon as she began to experience flashes and floaters in her vision.

An eye examination revealed Mary had a condition called posterior vitreous detachment in one eye. Common in those aged 65 and over, the condition causes the clear gel-like substance inside the eye to become more watery and shrinks away from the retina at the back of the eye.

Mary was advised to contact the store immediately if her symptoms worsened so staff could take appropriate steps. Swift action is essential when treating developing conditions - advice that proved crucial in saving Mary’s eye sight.

A few days later her symptoms worsened so principal optometrist Clair Donaldson saw her that same day and discovered a retinal tear had developed.

Change in symptoms

Clair stressed that symptoms should never be ignored and said Mary’s prompt action made a huge difference.

She said: ‘Mrs Heywood thankfully followed our advice and did the right thing by arranging another examination after her symptoms worsened. If she didn’t have it checked out there is a high chance she would have developed a retinal detachment and suffered with permanent vision loss.’

Mary added: ‘I was immediately referred to the Hospital Eye Service at Ninewells Hospital where I underwent laser treatment. Shortly afterwards, I developed the same symptoms in my other eye and returned to the hospital for further laser treatment. Both were successful.’


Mary has shared her experience because she wants to warn others not to be complacent if they have any worries about their vision.

She said: ‘I’d like to urge others to be very vigilant when it comes to their sight. It is so important to book an appointment if you experience anything out of the ordinary.

‘The staff at Specsavers were fantastic and ensured I was examined quickly. They were great at explaining the condition and ensuring I understood the next steps. Clair’s swift referral to the hospital helped to treat the tear before it became much more serious so I can’t thank her enough.’

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