A routine eye examination has saved the sight of a local woman from Rothwell, after it led to her diagnosis of a retinal detachment in one eye.

Lesley Best, 52, had been shopping in Rothwell earlier this year when she noticed floaters in one of her eyes and decided to take a trip to Specsavers that afternoon to get it checked out.

Checking it out at Specsavers 

When Ms Best called into the opticians in Jail Yard Parade and expressed her concerns, the optician insisted, despite being busy, that they would make an appointment for her there and then. During the examination the optician detected that the retina had become detached from the back of the eye and that she required emergency hospital assistance.

Lesley explains: ‘When Specsavers informed me that they were calling St James’s Hospital I thought they were being over cautious, but I attended the appointment they had made for me, for the following day.

‘When I arrived at the hospital the doctor immediately examined my eyes and informed me that I needed urgent treatment to save my vision, and I was booked in for surgery, the following morning.

‘The first thought that sprang to mind was that I had plans to go bowling and I needed to know if I could still go. To this the doctor advised that I should under no circumstances lift anything heavy and would especially advise against bowling!

‘The doctor explained that a detached retina is like wallpaper coming off, as once the retina detaches completely, there is nothing that can be done to save your sight, and currently my retina was peeling away, like wallpaper coming away from a wall.’

Repairing the damage 

Lesley was scheduled for surgery the following day to repair the damage and re-attach the retina to the eye in order to prevent further damage and loss of sight. This has proved successful as following the surgery, Lesley’s sight has returned to normal and the damage has been repaired.

Retinal detachments

Mandip Rehal, store director at Rothwell Specsavers, comments: ‘Floaters are very common and even patients with healthy eyes can often see them, but retinal detachments are rare. We would advise anyone with new symptoms or changes to their vision, as experienced by Lesley, to visit their opticians to get it investigated further.

‘It was very fortunate that Lesley came in for an eye test when she did as her condition meant that she could have lost her sight at any moment, which could have potentially been irreversible.’

Urging more to get eyes tested

When asked what advice Lesley would like to pass onto others, she commented: ‘Luckily for me, everything is now ok, but it could have been a completely different story. I’d urge more people to go and get their eyes tested. It’s a thing you often neglect, but it’s not worth the risk. We take our sight for granted, but it’s not until we are faced with losing it that we realise how precious it really is.

‘I’d like to say thank you to Mandip and the team at Specsavers and everyone at St James’s Hospital, as I received outstanding service. I’d certainly recommend more people visit Specsavers in Rothwell.’

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