The sight of a local grandmother has been saved thanks to the quick thinking of her optician.

Shelia Gibbons, 67, visited the Specsavers store in Epping after experiencing intense headaches.

She described her symptoms to the optometrist who then conducted a thorough eye examination to find the source of her pain.

Victoria Kingsley, optometrist at Specsavers in Epping, says: ‘Mrs Gibbons’ description of her headaches suggested there may have been a build-up of pressure.

Eye pressure caused headaches

I checked the pressure in both eyes and the left was three times higher than the right.

I then used an ophthalmoscope, which we use to see into a person’s eyes, and noticed the nerve at the back of Mrs Gibbons’ left eye was very swollen.’

Victoria immediately contacted the Princess Alexandra Hospital to organise an emergency appointment for Mrs Gibbons and after a number of tests she was diagnosed with acute angle-closure glaucoma.

Acute angle-closure glaucoma

Acute angle-closure glaucoma is an aggressive, rare form of the eye condition which, if left untreated, can lead to permanent sight loss. The condition occurs when the pressure inside the eye gets too high very quickly and can be caused by a blockage of fluid in the eye.

Sheila, who is now retired said: ‘I knew something wasn’t right but I didn’t for a second think that I was in danger of permanently losing the vision in my eye. ‘I was rushed into surgery where they used a laser to cut a hole in my iris to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure.’ 

An hour later, I would've my lost sight

‘The consultant at the hospital told me that if I had been admitted an hour later my sight would have been permanently damaged. I’m very thankful for the astute and quick work of Victoria at Specsavers as she undoubtedly saved my sight.’

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