An Arnold woman has told how a visit to a Specsavers opticians saved her sight – despite only being there to pick up her husband’s hearing aid.
Helen Clarkstone, 69, was alerted to her condition during a visit to the store in Front Street while being on an errand for her husband before they went on holiday.
While picking up a hearing aid for him, she requested to see an optician after noticing a dark spot in her vision over the weekend.
Helen said: “It was like there was a black shadow covering half of my eye that didn’t go away, even when I blinked. I had a busy weekend, as we were due to leave for holiday on Monday, so didn’t do anything about it right away.”
Helen was quickly seen by optometry store director Vineet Nehra.
“It was clear that something was very wrong with Helen’s eyes,’ he said.
‘There were indications of a retinal detachment, so we knew Helen needed an emergency referral to hospital. She was made an appointment on the day, ensuring she was seen as soon as possible.’
After her referral, Helen underwent an operation at the Queen’s Medical centre to help repair the detached retina. Following the operation, she had to spend 10 days lying on her side for 40 minutes of every hour as part of the recovery process.
She is now recovering well and she says her vision, despite being a little blurry after the surgery, is getting better each day and her prognosis is good.
She said: ‘I was due to go on holiday to Spain and if I hadn’t been in Specsavers for my husband’s hearing aids, I probably would have waited until I got back to check it out. I’m certainly glad I didn’t! My husband and I are very grateful to the team at Specsavers – for both the fantastic hearing service and the care and quick referral of the optometry team.’
Research published by Specsavers and charity the Royal National Institute of Blind People (RNIB), shows one in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime despite at least half of all cases being avoidable. The statistics also show that 300 people in the UK start living with sight loss every day.