Keen to remind Weymouth residents to have a sight test this month is a 52 year old plumber from Weymouth who was diagnosed with a life-threatening tumour following a trip to Specsavers.
Wife insists husband visits Specsavers
Father of two, John Black had been experiencing serious headaches, fatigue and problems with his vision. Initially, he attributed the symptoms to the long hours spent studying and driving to and from his local college.
It was his wife, a receptionist at a local GP surgery, who insisted that John visited the optician and her persistence has saved his life.
John was seen by optometrist Stephen Griffiths at Specsavers in Weymouth. Stephen conducted a thorough eye health check that included an ocular examination of the back of the eye and a digital photograph of the retina to look for any health concerns.
The tests showed swelling of John’s optic nerves on both eyes and his retinal blood vessels. The results, coupled with John’s headaches and fatigue, alerted Stephen that John needed to be referred straight away to A&E for further tests.
John diagnosed with brain tumour
John underwent scans and tests where a brain tumour was diagnosed. John was then referred onto Southampton General Hospital for a four hour operation that saw the tumour removed.
John said: ‘I was convinced that my headaches were caused by prolonged computer use for my coursework and reading lots of reference materials for the course I was doing. It is easy to blame lifestyle for excessive headaches and fatigue and never for one second did I suspect anything sinister.’
How a sight test reveals wider health issues
Every eye examination at Specsavers in Weymouth includes a thorough check of the front and back of the eyes. It enables the optometrist to check for signs of a number of eye-related and general health problems.
Optometrist Stephen Griffiths said: ‘When conducting an eye examination, you are looking at the complete health of the eye which is more than how well someone can see.
'Many people are not aware that our eyes can tell us a lot of vital information about our health and wellbeing. Amongst other things we can pick up signs of diabetes to high blood pressure and in John’s case, a life-threatening tumour.’
John recovering well
John is now receiving regular check-ups with his GP. He said: ‘I am indebted to Stephen who literally saved my life and I urge everyone to have regular sight tests, particularly if you are experiencing headaches or blurred vision. That appointment could save your life.’