On the afternoon before Good Friday, Beverley Draig, a medical herbalist practising in Taunton, noticed flashes in the corner of her left eye when in dimly lit areas but then her symptoms quickly went, only to return in the evening. She immediately contacted the store to seek advice.
Store director, Emma Denham, said: ‘Ms Draig called the store and we asked her in for an eye examination, where we were able to diagnose a posterior vitreous detachment.
‘This is a condition that, in a small number of cases can lead to a torn retina and eventually a detached retina and a serious risk of sight loss.’
Ms Draig’s diagnosis is quite common and mainly age-related. In most cases no further damage occurs to the retina. However, Ms Draig was one of the unlucky few who went on to develop more serious symptoms.
Beverley was very pleased with the attention given by optometrist, Steve Davies. She said: ‘Steve reassured me and explained what was happening very clearly and was able to tell me of the symptoms to look for if the retina became torn. I was to look out especially for lots of very fine floaters, which he called tobacco dust or any other sudden further changes to my sight. I was to seek emergency eye specialist advice if that occurred. On Easter Sunday, that’s exactly what happened!’
On Easter Sunday, Beverley attended A & E in Taunton and was seen by an eye specialist who diagnosed a torn retina. He was able to give immediate laser treatment to stick back the tear, which prevented the retina from becoming detached.
Beverley urges people not to ignore any sudden changes with their sight. She said: ‘I was fortunate to know, because of being a medical herbalist that I needed advice and help but many people may have ignored my sort of symptoms. Always seek advice from your optician about your eyes if you’re not sure.’
Specsavers recommend that everyone should have their vision checked every two years.