After an optician detected signs of a potentially life-threatening tumour, a former school kitchen assistant is urging others to have their eyes tested regularly.

Unidentified cause

Nicola Davies, 45, experienced spasms in her leg and began to suffer headaches, deafness and vision loss. Despite numerous examinations, the cause of the symptoms could not be identified.

Over a year later, after suffering a severe spasm and continuing to experience vision loss and headaches, the mother-of-two visited Specsavers in Merthyr Tydfil. Optometrist Linda Lawrence noticed abnormal pressure on her right eye. An x-ray showed a change in the eye and Nicola was booked in for an emergency appointment at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital.

Subsequent MRI scans confirmed she had a tumour, which might have been present for more than 10 years.

Nicola underwent a seven-and-a-half hour operation where the majority of the tumour was removed. It was found that the tumour was benign but had been pressing on her brain and causing the symptoms. Left untreated, such a tumour can grow and restrict the brain, which is potentially life-threatening. Nicola returned home after five days in hospital.

‘I can’t thank Specsavers enough’

‘I don’t even want to consider what might have happened if I didn’t go to Specsavers for a check-up,’ she says. ‘The loss of vision and deafness began to worry me, so I had no choice but to look at alternatives, as my GP couldn't give me an explanation.’

‘I can’t thank Specsavers enough. This has made me realise how important an eye test is. The reason I wanted to share my story is to make others aware and not be afraid to question anything concerning your health.’

Peter Render, Specsavers store director in Merthyr Tydfil, says: ‘While regular optical check-ups are always important to ensure that someone’s eye health is as good as it can be, this case highlights how eye issues can also be indicative of a more dangerous and potentially life-threatening problem.

‘We would advise anyone who suffers eye pain, loss of vision or similarly unusual occurrences to visit their opticians, so that any problems can be dealt with immediately.’

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