Case study demonstrates importance of regular sight tests for National Eye Health Week (24-30 September)
A local Ashby woman is thankful she went to Specsavers after an emergency appointment resulted in a hospital referral that saved her sight.
Anne Doig first noticed symptoms shortly before she was due to go on holiday. At first, the symptoms were a flash of light on the right-hand side of her vision when she looked in that direction, but it didn’t persist for long, and she thought nothing of it. It was only when she developed a second symptom which she describes as ‘like little tadpoles’ swimming in front of the same eye that didn’t disappear, that alarm bells started to ring.
‘I asked my friends and family if they’d experienced similar visions,’ said Anne. ‘Most of them suggested that seeing floaters like this was perfectly normal and nothing to worry about so I carried on with my holiday as planned.
‘Three weeks later, I was still having the same symptoms so thought I would go to see my GP. I know I shouldn’t have waited, but with so much going on, it’s just too easy to ignore things that don’t seem important.’
Anne’s GP recommended that she should immediately book an appointment at the Ashby De La Zouch Specsavers store in Market Street. After completing her pre-test with an optical assistant, she was given an immediate emergency assessment under the store’s Enhanced Optical Service offered on behalf of the NHS.
‘Kuljinder, my optometrist, was fantastic,’ said Anne. ‘He didn’t make me feel scared or worried. He was professional and calm throughout his examination and explained there was a portion of my eye that he couldn’t see clearly, so he booked me an appointment at the hospital for a closer look.’
A familiar diagnosis
The hospital diagnosed what Kuljinder suspected; Anne was suffering from a retinal tear. The location of the tear meant that the vitreous detachment (that was causing the ‘tadpoles’) could have gone behind her eye and lifted off the whole retina, resulting in the total loss of vision in that eye.
Anne continued: ‘I’ve had a number of sessions of laser treatment to repair the damage, and my consultant has been very reassuring. I’ve had my final check-up at the hospital and have been given the all-clear. They have said they will call me in a month to check I haven’t had any further symptoms, but other than that they are happy with the result… and so am I!
‘I’ve always had my eyes tested, but I never realised how much Specsavers do. It’s not just a question of whether you need glasses; there is so much more that they check for.
Store director, Kuljinder Bains, said: ‘After seeing what Anne went through, I would encourage anyone who sees something unusual in their vision to get it checked out, quickly. Don’t wait for weeks; if you experience something out of the ordinary, you need to book an appointment as soon as possible.’
Anne said: ‘Kuljinder and his team were fantastic, I will always be grateful for their quick actions and the way they cared for me while I was in store and during my treatment.’
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.
The optometrists at Specsavers Ashby De La Zouch have accreditations in glaucoma as well as minor eye conditions (MECs) meaning the store can offer eye health services to help manage a number of eye conditions allowing more people to be treated in-store rather than having to go to their GP or hospital. Anyone experiencing symptoms such as pain, redness or flashes of light in their vision can access these services