Case study demonstrates the importance of regular sight tests following National Eye Health Week (24-30 September)
A local Bloxwich man is thankful he went to his opticians after an appointment resulted in a hospital referral that saved his sight.
Kenneth Edwards, aged 75, was driving when he suddenly noticed that the cars to his right were a lot closer than they originally appeared. Feeling a false sense of direction, Mr Edwards was concerned that he could have caused a car accident so made an appointment at Specsavers Bloxwich to get his eyes tested.
‘I visit Specsavers every two years and wasn’t due for an appointment but thought I ought to go after experiencing trouble on the road,’ said Mr Edwards. ‘I’m so pleased I made an appointment. Had I ignored the problem I could have lost sight in my right eye.’
Optometrist, Jagroop Uppal, performed a full eye examination and suspected a retinal detachment so immediately referred him to New Cross Hospital in Wolverhampton for further investigation. A scan confirmed Jagroop’s suspicions; Mr Edwards was suffering from a retinal tear. If left untreated, this could have resulted in total loss of vision in that eye.
Mr Edwards continued: ‘To repair the damage, I had an operation followed by a week of thorough treatment at home. After weeks of taking drops, I noticed my focus was better when watching the television. I went back to hospital for another scan which showed my vision had come back and I’m now confidentially driving again thanks to Specsavers and the New Cross Hospital staff.
‘I’ve worn glasses for years and also have cataracts, so I’ve always had my eyes tested, but I never realised how much Specsavers do. It’s not just a prescription check; there is so much more that they help diagnose.’
Get checked right away
Jagroop said: ‘After seeing what Mr Edwards went through, I would encourage anyone who notices a change in their vision to get it checked out straight away. Don’t wait for weeks; if you experience something out of the ordinary, you need to book an appointment as soon as possible.
‘It was lucky that Mr Edwards came in when he did,’ he continued. ‘We are so relieved that he has recovered so quickly. If his right eye was left untreated this could have led to blindness. Hopefully this highlights the importance of eye tests – whether there are any symptoms or not.’
The optometrists at Specsavers Bloxwich 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.