York woman saved from potential blindness after seeing flashes of light
A WOMAN from York says she has been saved from potential blindness after a trip to a city optician.
Sharon Harrison, 49, who lives in Acomb and works as a lunchtime behavioural manager at Funfishers Nursery and Fulford School, said she called Specsavers York when she began to experience flashes and floaters in her vision.
The team advised her to come in as soon as she could for an immediate appointment at the Vangarde store.
She has since praised the ‘incredible’ team after a sight-threatening condition was spotted during her eye test.
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During the test, the optometrist used an OCT (optical coherence tomography) machine to take a scan of Sharon’s eye. The machine produces a 3D scan of the eye and can help detect a range of eye conditions, in some cases much earlier than traditional methods. The results showed Sharon had a retinal tear, which if left untreated, could have resulted in sight loss.
The optometrist made an immediate emergency referral to York Hospital, where Sharon underwent laser eye surgery to repair the tear. Following her surgery, she was allowed to drive home to Cumbria for Christmas.
After Christmas, Sharon experienced further disrupted vision. With help from her family, she returned to York Hospital, where she was diagnosed with a vitreous haemorrhage - blood in the gel of the eye, commonly associated with a retinal tear or detachment .
Surgeons performed a procedure to remove the gel inside the eye, replacing it with gas to hold the retina in place as it heals.
Having fully recovered from her surgeries with no permanent damage to her sight, Sharon extended her thanks to the team at Specsavers Vangarde, York.
She said: "If you are experiencing eye discomfort or compromised vision, calling your opticians for advice before joining an A&E waitlist can be the difference between losing and saving your sight.
"The team at Specsavers Vangarde were incredible, I’m so grateful they saw me so quickly, especially on Christmas Eve and arranged the care I needed at York Hospital, I can’t thank them enough."
Charlotte Turner, ophthalmic director at Specsavers York, said: "People with eye related conditions account for 5 million GP consultations and 270,000 A&E attendances per year.
"The majority of these eye-related queries could be dealt with by optometrists which is why we’re encouraging people to come to us as their first port of call, easing pressure on medical services and getting people the care and advise they need quickly."