A trip to Specsavers Bicester proved to be sight saving for local woman, Mandy Stewart, following the diagnosis of a detached retina.

As a contact lens wearer, the 51-year-old Bucknell resident wasn’t too alarmed initially when she started to notice some flashing lights and floaters. However, one morning Mandy could see a dark shadow in the bottom part of her left eye and after contacting her doctor, she made an appointment at the store. 

Loss of vision

Mandy was able to make an appointment for the next morning, by which time she had lost 30% of the vision in her left eye. Here she was seen by optometrist Sarah Marshall, who on examining the inside of her left eye, could see the retina had become detached and immediately referred her to the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford.

‘I saw a consultant when I got to the hospital who confirmed my retina had become detached, but it was too late in the day to carry out the surgery, so I went back the next morning,’ said Mandy. ‘The operation was carried out under local anaesthetic and took around an hour and a half. I returned for a check up two weeks later and was told that the retina had been successfully attached.

‘I’m now very short sighted in my left eye so have had to go back and see Sarah to update my prescription. However, this is actually a positive result as I was told that I was lucky to get any sight back at all. I’m so grateful I made the appointment, was referred so promptly and the surgeon was able to re-attach the retina.’

Overall health check

Sarah said: ‘Mandy’s case underlines the importance of making sure you visit an optician if you notice any changes in your vision. If she’d left it any longer, she risked losing the sight in her left eye and I’m just pleased to hear the operation was a success. And as a reminder, regular eye tests should be made every two years; important not just as a vision check, but an overall health check too.’   

Important research

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 in Bicester have accreditations in minor eye conditions (MECs) and a certificate in glaucoma. It means 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.

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