When Lisa Narraway, started to experience blurred vision paired with headaches, she decided it was time to get some advice from her optician. Little did she know that the visit would end with a referral to the local hospital.
In July, new mum Lisa (38), started experiencing loss of vision and headaches, which she initially put down to sleep deprivation from having a new baby.
‘I started to become more and more concerned about completing day to day tasks as my vision deteriorated,’ said Lisa. ‘So, I called NHS 111 who advised me to make my way to A&E. After having numerous tests, the hospital sent me home, but my symptoms continued to worsen. It was at this point that I decided to book an appointment at my local Specsavers store to have an eye test as it’s where I have regular check-ups and get my contact lenses from.’
Lisa was seen by Specsavers Uttoxeter optometrist, Sirjan Singh, and as part of the eye test, he carried out an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scan. ‘OCT tells us a little more about the patient’s eye health,’ said Sirjan. ‘It gives us a detailed picture of behind the eye, which can indicate any underlying problems and it also means we can diagnose any potential eye health issues much earlier.’
Sirjan could see from previous eye tests that Lisa was short-sighted, but the OCT detected that Lisa also had swollen optic discs, which can indicate a bigger problem. ‘After I saw the swollen discs, and coupled with the symptoms Lisa described, I suspected Optic Neuritis, a swelling of the optic nerve I immediately referred her to hospital so that she could be seen as soon as possible.’
Thanks to Sirjan’s quick referral, Lisa was seen at the Royal Derby Hospital the next day where she stayed in the Neurology ward for six nights. ‘It was quite a scary experience,’ adds Lisa. ‘The hospital confirmed the diagnosis of Optic Neuritis which they treated with steroids. I also had a lumbar puncture, an MRI and the hospital sent my blood tests off to ensure there were no further problems.
‘I’m back home with my family and new baby now,’ continued Lisa. ‘I still have some blurred vision and I’m continuing to take steroids, but I’m starting to see colour now, so my vision is improving every day. Sirjan at Specsavers has called to check-in, which I really appreciate and I’m having follow-up appointments to ensure my vision keeps improving.’
‘We’re pleased to hear Lisa’s vision is improving,’ said Sirjan. ‘Her case demonstrates that when you notice a change in your vision, it’s vitally important to get it checked straight away by an optician. To have the OCT scan images to help make the diagnosis was a huge benefit. The earlier conditions are picked up, the better the chance of successful treatment and the OCT is an instrumental part of this.