Jim Turner

Man battles Storm Doris to make last minute eye test which saved his sight

A Hemel Hempstead resident who endured Storm Doris to have a last minute eye test has praised his local Specsavers team for identifying a medical condition that could have cost him his sight.

Jim Turner became concerned after his vision went blurry and he noticed something drifting along his eye. The 68-year- old museum worker raised his concerns with staff at Specsavers Hemel Hempstead who booked him in for an eye test.

Although Jim initially thought he would just need his eyes washed out he quickly discovered the issue was more serious.

Speaking about the ordeal, Jim says: ‘On the day of Storm Doris I noticed my vision went a little blurry. It wasn’t painful but I thought I should call Specsavers to see if they could wash it out. After examining the health of my eyes, my optometrist Meera explained that I needed to go immediately to Moorfields Eye Hospital.

‘My first thought was “how am I going to get there” as it was late in the day and all the trains were cancelled because of the storm. I eventually arrived at the hospital
around 10.30pm where various tests were carried out and I was diagnosed with a retinal tear.’

Meera Kataria, the newly-qualified optician who treated Jim, says: ‘I examined the inside of Mr Turner’s eyes and found that the change in his vision was caused by a small tear in the edge of his retina.

‘Following my immediate referral to hospital they were able to fix the tear without causing permanent damage to his vision.
Had Mr Turner not thought to book an appointment early, there would have been a strong chance he would have permanently lost or damaged his eyesight.

We remind people that it is so important to get any changes in your vision checked as soon as possible.’

Jim adds: ‘I met someone at the hospital who had been intending on getting a check-up for a while but hadn’t got round to visiting his optician. He woke up one morning and couldn’t see out of one eye. This was caused by a tear in one retina and the other was completely detached.

‘That really put into perspective for me how important it is to get symptoms checked and have regular eye checks. I am so thankful to Meera for her quick-thinking, and also to staff at Moorfields. Without them I could have lost my vision completely.’

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