Optometrist Sarah Marshall and customer with glaucoma

Musician’s early glaucoma diagnosis prevents sight loss

A visit to a Bicester opticians helped ensure 80-year-old Jane Singleton’s sight wasn’t lost to glaucoma.

After noticing she was having trouble reading number plates from distance, Fringford resident, Jane made an appointment for an eye test with Sarah Marshall, an optometrist at Specsavers. A regular visitor to the store, Jane keeps up to date with her eye tests and while she wasn’t due for one, knew she needed to go and get her vision checked.

During the test Sarah examined the back of Jane’s eye and noticed some damage to the optic disc as well as a loss of peripheral vision during the visual fields test. She also noticed that her cataracts had grown so referred Jane for further assessment.

Jane was seen within two weeks and following further tests was told the pressure in her eyes was high and she had glaucoma.

‘I knew I had cataracts but I was very surprised when the consultant told me I had glaucoma as well,’ says Jane. ‘I was given drops to put into my eyes to help lower the pressure to treat my glaucoma but also so that I could have the cataract operation. After a month I went back and my pressure had come down enough by using the drops that they could go ahead with the cataract operation.

‘To keep the pressure in the eye at a lower level I have to take the drops every day for the rest of my life but it means that I can manage the glaucoma. I’ve had some loss of peripheral vision but the outcome could have been much worse if it hadn’t been picked up. I’m a keen musician and play the bass recorder in a group as well as needing my car to drive to a cleaning job that I still do twice a week. Losing my vision would have had a huge impact so I’m just delighted it was spotted in time to be treated.’

‘Jane is a regular customer and when she came in explaining she’d noticed a deterioration in her vision, I wanted to see her quickly,’ says Sarah. ‘I knew she had cataracts but when I saw the results of her visual field test and saw her optic nerve, I thought it warranted further investigation. I suspected glaucoma but didn’t have the capability to confirm the diagnosis in store.

‘I’m delighted that Jane’s not only had both of her cataracts sorted but that the glaucoma was caught early enough that it can be managed with drops. It’s important to make sure you have your eyes tested at least every two years but if you notice any changes in your vision, you should see an optician immediately. Early diagnosis is crucial to help ensure conditions can be treated most effectively.’

The optometrists at Specsavers Bicester have accreditations in glaucoma and minor eye conditions (MECs) and Specsavers has partnered with the International Glaucoma Association (IGA) to help raise awareness of the disease and avoid preventable sight loss.

More like this...

Sign up to Spectrum for free CET and clinical updates.

REGISTER

Share, Print or Favourite