A hospital porter, who started losing her vision while shopping in Blackwood, has praised her local opticians for helping save her sight.

‘Terrifying’ symptoms

Susan Sloman, 56, started noticing ‘floaters’ in her vision while working at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr Hospital. A few weeks later, while shopping with her husband in Blackwood, the floaters grew rapidly to a point where she was unable to see clearly out of her right eye.

‘It was absolutely terrifying – I thought I’d lost my sight for good’, she says. ‘I immediately called Specsavers in Blackwood and I was seen to by the optometrist, Jonathan Evans, within minutes.’

The following morning, after a referral from Specsavers, Mrs Sloman was seen by a doctor at the Royal Gwent Hospital, who initially thought she had suffered an aneurysm. However, her vision continued to deteriorate, and a follow-up consultation indicated that she may have suffered a detached retina.

She was transferred to the University Hospital of Wales, where a consultant confirmed the diagnosis and operated later that day. Fortunately, her vision has slowly returned to normal and she hopes to return to work later this month.

‘Every hour really does count’

Mrs Sloman continues: ‘If it wasn’t for the quick action of Jonathan, I don’t know if I would have ever got the vision back in my eye. Losing your vision rapidly is so scary, but Jonathan and his marvellous team kept me calm and reassured throughout.

‘Not being able to work for the last two months has had a significant impact on me mentally, so I cannot begin to think what it would be like to suffer irreversible sight loss. I would advise anyone suffering with vision issues to contact their local optician straight away – every hour  really does count.’

Jonathan Evans, store director and the optometrist who attended to Mrs Sloman, adds: ‘Susan’s story highlights why you should never ignore changes to your vision. Understandably, with our local authority currently in lockdown and with COVID-19 cases on the rise, many of our patients may be reluctant to seek advice, even if there is something wrong.

‘However, serious conditions, like Susan’s, need immediate treatment.  If you are experiencing issues, we suggest you call us straight away, so we can assess your concerns before arranging a test in-store – adhering to strict PPE and social distancing guidelines – to ensure you receive the appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.’

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