The store director at Specsavers Derby experienced the benefits of his recent investment in technology first-hand, after he was sent to hospital when a routine eye examination picked up a problem with his retina.
Uan Gohil began experiencing flashes and floaters in his eyes last month so decided to ask his brother, optometrist Glyn Gohil, to perform an eye test.
Using the newly purchased Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) machine, Glyn noticed an abnormality in Uan’s eyes, which he investigated further by putting drops in to the eye which widen the pupil for more detailed inspection.
‘I could immediately see that there was a problem with Uan’s retina,’ explained Glyn. ‘After dilating his eyes with drops, I could clearly identify a hole in the membrane.’
Glyn referred Uan as an emergency patient straight to the Royal Derby Hospital for further examination, where the ophthalmologist found two further retinal holes.
‘It was a big shock,’ recalled Uan. ‘My experience and knowledge of eye conditions meant that I knew there was a problem from the symptoms I was experiencing, and subsequently being referred as an emergency patient was very worrying.
‘However, the team at the eye department at the hospital were faultless from start to finish; the doctor quickly diagnosed me with three retinal holes and I was sent for surgery.’
Uan underwent laser treatment to treat the condition and is now in full recovery.
‘The level of service I received throughout was absolutely brilliant,’ he continued. ‘They provided expert care and support from diagnosis to aftercare, and I’m very grateful for the fantastic job that they do. It just highlights the message that we are constantly trying to communicate to the community, that eye tests are more than a prescription test – they are also an important health check.
‘I would like to encourage everyone to make sure they are having regular eye tests, as such a simple check can pick up a multitude of conditions – even those that are symptomless.’
The store in the Intu Centre performs an OCT scan as part of all its eye tests. The state-of-the-art Topcon 3D system works in a similar manner to an ultrasound, but uses light instead of sound waves to create a 3D picture of the back of the eye from the reflections that are generated.
The scan illustrates the different layers of that make up the optic nerve and retina, and can be cross referenced with a digital photograph of the surface of the eye to pinpoint areas of concern.
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.