A Nottingham man is encouraging everyone to get their eyes tested after a one-off appointment at his local opticians detected signs of a life-threatening brain tumour.

Gavin Wynne, 40, a supervisor at Kaefer from Highbury Vale, had suffered from headaches for several years as well as more recent symptoms of sciatica, which he was receiving chiropractic treatment for.

After a visit to his GP, he decided to go for his first ever eye test at Specsavers in Wheelergate, Nottingham.

Suffering from severe headaches

‘I was suffering from very severe headaches, which were affecting my day-to-day life,’ recalled Gavin. ‘It was getting to the point where I had to sit in a dark room, and spend a day recovering after a game of football.

'I have suffered from these spells since I was ten, but I decided to visit Specsavers in Nottingham to see if it was a vision problem when I was getting flashing lights in the eye with floaters.’

At his appointment at the store in Wheelergate, optician Vishal Patel performed a series of comprehensive tests, including using the high-tech fundus camera to view the layers of the eye, a slit lamp volk examination and pupil dilation to assess the back of the eye.

A word from the optician

Vishal Patel said: ‘I was very concerned listening to the symptoms that Mr Wynne was describing, and my worries were confirmed by the tests.

'He had extremely swollen optic nerves in both eyes and, for us, this is a big red flag indicating a more serious problem.’

Vishal referred Gavin to eye casualty at the Queen’s Medical Centre immediately, and he was seen the same day by an ophthalmologist for a CT scan. This revealed that he had a meningioma; a tumour in his brain.

He was operated on a week later to cut off the blood supply to the tumour and again the next day to remove 94% of the mass. He was then given a six-week course of radiotherapy to destroy the remaining tumour.

Fortuate for a quick referral

Gavin said: ‘I feel very fortunate that Vishal was able to spot what was going on and give me such a quick referral. It was my first ever eye test, and it has had a life-changing impact.

'I would like to say a huge thank you to Vishal and the staff at Specsavers in Nottingham, and the surgeons and nurses at Queens Medical and City Hospitals.’

On the road to recovery

Vishal said: ‘We are so relieved that Mr Wynne is finally having the treatment that he needs and he is on the mend. His case just highlights the importance of regular eye tests – they are not simply a prescription check, they are also a vital health assessment.'

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