Happy to promote the importance of regular eye examinations is a customer from Palmers Green.

Eye test flags potentially sight-threatening condition

25 year old Marina Panayi from North London is keen to promote eye health for National Eye Health Week that runs from 18th September.  Marina's story is rare but reiterates how an eye test can sometimes be. In her case, it picked up a serious condition that could have been life threatening.

Marina had been suffering from bad headaches and blurred vision when she visited her GP in September last year, and was urged to have her eyes checked. During an eye test at Specsavers in Palmers Green, store director Jaswinder Singh Nagra found that there was swelling around her optic nerve.

Marina was immediately sent to Moorfields Eye Hospital where it was confirmed she had fluid on her brain and was suffering from a condition called papilledema.

Referred to Moorfields

She was then referred to the Neurology Department at the Royal Free London Hospital. ‘I hadn’t heard of papilledema before, and so would never have known what symptoms to look out for’, she says.

Marina adds: ‘It felt uncomfortable to focus my eyes and I had really bad headaches – much worse than any other headache I have experienced. ‘It’s scary to think that I went for a simple eye test and ended up in hospital having a lumber puncture to remove fluid from my brain.

'Looking back now and knowing my sight could ultimately have been at risk, I’m so glad I went to the opticians when I did.’

Fighting fit and doing well

Following treatment, Marina’s sight has now returned to normal and her headaches have subsided. Her progress will continue to be monitored. Like Marina, Specsavers’ Jaswinder Singh Nagra is also a big champion of regular eye tests: ‘It’s not just about whether you need glasses or an updated prescription - an eye test is an important health check, like a visit to the dentist or the nurse.

'As such, we recommend everyone over the age of five comes for an eye test at least once every two years, if not more often.’

Marina adds: ‘I remember seeing printed on a poster in Specsavers the words: It’s amazing what we can see through your eyes. It really resonated with me. I would encourage everyone to make time to book a test – it might just be the best thing you do.’

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