Eye examination proves to be sight saver for Derby resident

Sharing his story to mark National Eye Health Week this week (18 – 24 September), 70-year-old Derby resident, Jim Petrie, lost part of his vision in his right eye while on holiday in June.
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At the time he was of course concerned but he didn’t realise that it was a sign of something that could threaten his eyesight.

The day after Jim arrived in Kos with his wife for a two-week break, a dark shadow formed across his vision in his right eye. He decided not to seek advice whilst in Greece but to wait until he got home.

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"Throughout our holiday, I knew something wasn’t right, and while the symptoms weren’t getting any worse, they weren’t getting any better either,’ explains Jim.

Jim PetrieJim Petrie
Jim Petrie

"The day before we were due to fly home, I booked an appointment at Specsavers online and thankfully I was able to choose one for the day after we got home."

Jim visited his local opticians, Specsavers Derby, and saw optometrist Zaynab Kaji, who carried out a full eye examination, which included using an OCT (Optical Coherence Tomography) machine which provides a detailed structural scan of the eye, enabling diseases to be detected three to four years earlier than other methods.

With the symptoms Jim described and the results of the scan, Zaynab quickly picked up that all wasn’t as it should be – suspecting Jim was suffering from a blocked blood vessel in his right eye, which turned out to be a partial retinal detachment.

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The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue at the back of the eye responsible for receiving light and translating it into electrical signals to send to the brain, where it creates the images we see.

"Zaynab explained that I needed to go to hospital straight away before the symptoms got any worse and made me an urgent referral to The Royal Derby Hospital eye department," adds Jim.

"I saw a doctor at the hospital who confirmed the diagnosis and said I was very lucky. If I’d have left it much longer, I could have lost the sight in my right eye. I was booked in for an operation the next day, which ended up being delayed by a day, but thankfully everything went according to plan."

The operation was carried out under local anaesthetic and Jim has since had a follow up appointment. A laser procedure may be required to clear a liquid film behind the lens in around three to four months if it does not clear, but he is expected to make a full recovery.

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"I’d just like to say a huge thank you to Zaynab and the team at Specsavers in Derby for their kindness and professionalism, and the team at The Royal Derby Hospital for their excellent care," continues Jim.

"I had cataract surgery in both eyes around 16 years ago and since then my distance vision has been excellent although I do need reading glasses.

"Before this surgery I wore glasses all the time and had regular eye tests to check my prescription, maybe I should have continued with these, but my concern at the time was that I had no idea what the symptoms were for a detached retina."

"I’m so pleased that James is on the road to a full recovery. His case is a prime example of why we urge people to have any changes in their vision checked," concludes Specsavers Derby optometrist Zaynab Kaji.

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"When doing an eye examination, it’s an opportunity to check for other health conditions 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.

"We encourage everyone to see their optician every two years as part of their routine health checks, and to make an appointment straight away if they are experiencing any vision issues."

For more information or to book a sight or hearing test, call Specsavers Derby on 01332 294939 or go to www.specsavers.co.uk/stores/derby.

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