A visit to Specsavers in Swadlincote turned out to be life-saving for one local resident following the discovery of a rare eye condition.

A rare condition

Alfred Bates (77) from Swadlincote visited the store to get his sight checked after noticing a gradual reduction in his vision during the summer months. Upon examination, optometrist Ravi Parmar noticed a raised growth behind Alfred’s left eye, immediately referring him to Burton Hospital, where a ciliary body melanoma was diagnosed.

Due to the size of the tumour, Mr Bates’ left eye was removed in an effort to stop the tumour from spreading outside of the eye.

‘I’d been experiencing problems with my vision and noticed a gradual reduction in my sight for about six months before I visited Specsavers for a check-up, but it wasn’t until Ravi told me about the growth and referred me to hospital that I realised it was something very serious,’ said Alfred.

‘I’m obviously still adjusting to life without my eye, but if the tumour had gone unnoticed my situation could have turned out much worse, so I’m very thankful to the teams at Specsavers and the hospital for their swift action.’

Ciliary body melanoma

Ciliary body melanoma is a rare tumour which develops in or around the eye, causing symptoms such as total or partial loss of sight, blurred vision and bulging of the eye.

Ravi Parmar, optometrist at Specsavers, said: ‘It’s very unusual for somebody to be diagnosed with this particular condition, but as the symptoms can develop very suddenly, it goes to show how important regular eye examinations can be. 

‘Since Alfred had his eye removed in October, it has been confirmed that the tumour didn’t spread elsewhere, which is excellent news and we wish Alfred all the best with his recovery.’

Regular sight tests

Store director, Raj Patel, added: ‘Having an eye examination should be part of everyone’s lifestyle as it forms part of a full health check and can enhance your wellbeing. As well as checking your vision, we also check the health of the eye and its functions too. With this in mind, we now provide cataract and glaucoma management services, school screening and specialised therapeutic eye advice.’

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