Optician's warning helps save Didcot man's sight

Optician's warning helps save Didcot man's sight

When local resident Paul O’Rourke started to experience minor flashes and floaters in his vision, he called NHS 111 and was swiftly referred to the Oxfordshire Minor Eye Conditions service (MECS), who then referred him to Specsavers in Didcot. 

The 65-year-old from Nuffield, in South Oxfordshire, was seen by Specsavers Didcot ophthalmic director, Roxy Bi, who carried out a full eye examination and noticed a small haemorrhage in the retina. 

At the end of the appointment Roxy told Paul to be aware of certain symptoms including a ‘curtain coming down’ in his sight, which she said may appear as greyness across his field of vision. This is often an indication of a retinal detachment. 

Paul took the advice that Roxy provided and just three months later, Paul noticed the symptoms he was warned about and immediately called NHS 111.

‘Roxy’s wording was so precise,’ comments Paul. ‘The details I left with NHS 111 caused a GP to call me late on the Saturday evening telling me I must ring the John Radcliffe emergency service in the morning at 8:30am; which is exactly what I did on the Sunday morning. I was given an appointment at 10am and the doctor that saw me told me I needed emergency surgery, which was scheduled for 3:30pm.

‘It was quite concerning; I just wanted to have the surgery and make sure my vision was going to go back to normal. Fortunately, everything went according to plan. Following my surgery, the consultant mentioned that the tear had deteriorated since my appointment in the morning, and if I had waited any longer, there is a chance that I may have lost my vision. 

‘Since my surgery, I’ve had positive reviews from the doctors and I would say that after around 16 or 17 days, my vision seemed pretty much back to normal.’

‘When Paul came into the store on 17 January, we noticed a small haemorrhage in his eye,’ comments Roxy Bi, ophthalmic director at Specsavers in Didcot. ‘As there was very little we could do for Paul at that moment, I warned him of the symptoms he needed to be aware of so he could look out for them. I’m so glad to hear that Paul spotted the signs of a retinal detachment and acted quickly, which resulted in saving his sight.’ 

‘I’d just like to say a huge thank you to Roxy and the team at Specsavers in Didcot,’ adds Paul. ‘I had my final review with the ophthalmologist at the hospital on 27 May and have now been discharged, with more warnings of what to look out for with my other eye. I’m really grateful to Roxy for helping me understand the signs and symptoms to look out for.’

‘Paul’s case is a prime example of why we urge people to have any changes in your vision checked,’ comments Roxy. ‘When doing an eye examination, we can look at your general health too, so make sure to tell your optometrist of any symptoms you’ve been experiencing to ensure we can correctly assess, diagnose or refer you if necessary.’ 

For more information or to book a sight or hearing test, call Specsavers Didcot on 01235 517100 or go to www.specsavers.co.uk/stores/didcot 

Return to News archive