Potential blindness prevented by an eye examination at a Hereford optometrist

25 April 2018

A Hereford optometrist spotted a retinal tear that could have led to serious eye damage or even blindness in a Shropshire patient’s eye

A Shropshire man could have potentially lost his sight in one eye had he not booked himself an eye exam, a leading Hereford-based optometrist has warned.

The man, from the Ludlow area of Shropshire, had an anterior retinal tear that could have gone un-noticed and lead to a serious eye condition and even blindness had it not been spotted and treated.

Thanks to the latest eye imaging technology at Hereford-based BBR Optometry, the damage was discovered by an optometrist who sent him to A&E and he eventually underwent surgery by a specialist eye consultant.

“Many eye conditions, particularly serious ones, can go un-noticed with no specific symptoms,” said Nick Rumney, chairman of BBR Optometry in St Owen Street, Hereford. “This is often the case in retinal tears which, if left untreated, can have potentially serious results, including partial or total blindness.”

The man, who does not wish to be named, attended the optometry practice for a regular eye test. Optometrist Suzanne Wadsworth used one of their specialist eye imaging scanners during the test to look into the eye.

She discovered the tear and, realising the seriousness of the situation, asked the patient to attend A&E at Hereford Hospital. She provided him with digital images of the tear to show the specialist eye surgeons.

“The consultants couldn’t see the tear themselves straight away. It was being armed with our digital scanning imagery that helped them confirm the matter and undertake surgery,” added Mr Rumney.

The BBR Optometry patient said: “I owe much to BBR Optometry, and especially Suzanne Wadsworth, for finding the problem during a routine eye examination. The photographs, letter for A&E and contacts with Hereford Hospital was eye care of the highest standard in my opinion,” he added.

At first, the medical teams could not identify the retinal tear. But the scan imagery and letter from the optometry led to the man requesting further examinations at Hereford and Shrewsbury hospitals before a consultant confirmed the issue and undertook surgery.

Mr Rumney said it demonstrated the importance of regular eye tests. “Eye examinations are not just about the performance of the eye for seeing, reading or even driving. It’s much more thorough and detailed than that, particularly with the scanning technology we have at our practice that can look deep into the eye and spot other conditions and diseases such as retinal detachments, glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy and age-related macular degeneration.”

He added: “It can also indicate evidence of non-eye or systemic diseases such as hypertension and certain cancers.”

The practice recently became the first in the UK to take delivery of the state-of-the-art Optos California retinal imaging device.

It allows an immediate 200 degree view of a patient’s eye in a single scan, providing a high-resolution image in less than half a second.

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