A 57-year-old grandfather from Walney Island, Barrow-in-Furness, has thanked Specsavers opticians in Barrow-in-Furness for helping to save his life after a routine eye test led to the discovery of a tumour. 

Headaches and blurry eyes

Electrical technician, Paul Imison, visited Specsavers, on Dalton Road in Barrow-in-Furness, in September 2012 after experiencing headaches and blurry eyes. ‘I thought my eyesight was simply getting worse as cleaning my glasses and rubbing my eyes didn’t help’, explained Paul.

When Paul underwent an eye test, it was noted that he could not see well out of his right eye, as he had been able to previously, and no change in prescription was improving matters.

Graham Proctor, store director at Specsavers in Barrow-in-Furness, said: ‘Overall, Paul’s eye looked healthy so there was no obvious sign of medical problems. Because of this, we completed a field of vision check which showed a vision loss called a hemaniopia in the right eye. This meant that Paul had vision in one side of his right eye but not the other, with a clear division vertically down the centre of his eye.

Immediate referral to hospital

‘A vision loss as specific as this often suggests there is a problem with the visual pathway in certain areas of the head, so we immediately called the eye department at Furness General Hospital where he was referred,’ said Graham.

Paul underwent a series of tests including an MRI scan which detected a pituitary tumour. After attempts to shrink the tumour through medication failed, and his condition worsened, Paul was referred to Preston Royal Infirmary where in May 2014, he underwent an operation to remove the tumour.

Life changing surgery

Despite spending 12 days recovering in hospital, Paul noticed an instant improvement in his health: ‘following my operation, my eyesight immediately improved and the headaches that had plagued my life previously, had thankfully disappeared’.

Two years since his life-changing visit to Specsavers, Paul remains on medication, however, as his health continues to improve he hopes this will gradually decrease.

Paul added: ‘I cannot thank the staff at Specsavers enough for their initial diagnosis that led to my referral and subsequent detection of the tumour. Their competence and experience has undoubtedly changed my life and made my future much brighter.

A cautionary tale

‘I would urge all readers of my story, if they are experiencing any kind of vision problems, to get it checked out by fully trained and professional experts like those at the Specsavers store in Barrow-in-Furness.’

Graham concluded, ‘Thankfully, cases such as Paul’s are rare, however, they do highlight the importance of regular sight tests. We recommend everybody, both existing and non-glasses wearers, visits a trusted and experienced optician every two years. Not only will this ensure their eye health remains in optimum condition, it will also help to detect any underlying health problems.’ 

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