When Cheylesmore resident Lauren Roberts had a free sight test voucher through her door she thought she’d take up the offer. Little did she realise that this would ultimately help save her sight.
Free sight test
Twenty-five-year-old primary school teacher Lauren had been for an eye examination back in September last year and although she was told everything was fine, a free sight test voucher for her local Specsavers in Cheylesmore made her think about her recent headaches and wonder if perhaps she should see an optician again.
Although Specsavers wasn’t her regular optician Lauren was able to make an appointment at the store during her Easter holiday break. Lauren was seen by the store’s director and optometrist, Gurpreet Bains, who carried out a full eye examination.
‘During the eye examination, and through the use of a digital retinal camera (which takes a picture of the back of the eye), I could see that there was a hole at the back of Lauren’s right eye,’ said Gurpreet. ‘We referred her straight away to Walsgrave Hospital in Coventry to undergo further tests.’
The hospital confirmed Gurpreet’s finding and diagnosed that Lauren had tears to both her right and left retinas (the retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye). Worryingly they advised that without diagnosis or treatment Lauren had a 30% chance of going blind in her right eye and 15% in her left eye.
‘It was such a shock,’ said Lauren. ‘I thought my vision was fine, I’d seen an optician recently so never imagined that something so serious could be happening to my sight. The hospital said that it was very unusual for someone of my age to have retinal tears – unless they’d undergone some sort of head trauma or collision to my head, which I hadn’t.’
Just in time
Fortunately Lauren was able to undergo laser surgery to help seal the tears and prevent them worsening. She now has to go back to the hospital for regular check-ups but is feeling fine and is back at work.
‘You take your vision for granted and I’m just so fortunate that the problem was picked up and my sight was saved,’ added Lauren. ‘Specsavers have been amazing and I can’t thank them enough. I’ve already sent three of my friends there to make sure their vision and eye health is up to scratch too.’
Gurpreet added, ‘We’re glad that we were able to help Lauren – her story is quite rare but cases like this do happen and it’s important that people don’t neglect their eye health as opticians can pick up a range of conditions just by examining your eyes. Aim to see your optician at least every two years or pop in straight away if you are experiencing any unusual symptoms.’