A customer at Specsavers in Derby has been diagnosed with a rare condition, following a sight test at the store.

After experiencing problems with the joints in his legs since returning from a holiday in Thailand, 52 year-old Stephen Davies also noticed his vision and hearing had begun to deteriorate. Initially putting some of the problems down to arthritis, it wasn’t until his appointment with optometrist, Andrew Wells that symptoms of a rare life-threatening condition were picked up.

Andrew, optometrist at Specsavers, said: ‘When Mr Davies came in for his sight test, we used Optical Coherence Tomography instruments to scan the retina in great detail, allowing us to see that the issue was related to pressure in the brain, which has a very particular effect on the optic nerve at the back of the eye. The condition is called papilloedema, which is very rare.’

Following the discovery, Andrew immediately referred Stephen to the Royal Derby Hospital, where he was told the disease was attacking the nervous system in his spine and brain, which may have been fatal if left untreated.

It is thought that the disease was picked up after coming in to contact with some dirty water while white-water rafting in Thailand.

Stephen is now well enough to go back to work and has thanked staff at Specsavers and the Royal Derby Hospital, saying: ‘The treatment has been exceptional – professional from start to finish. They saved my life.’

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