Papilloedema – optic nerve swelling needed urgent referral

A Grimsby woman’s sight was saved after her optician insisted she went straight from an eye test to A&E.

Jenna Young, 26, was advised by her GP to visit an optician after complaining she suffered from headaches.

She attended an appointment at Specsavers in Cleethorpes – where an optician spotted a swelling on her optic nerve and immediately referred her to the Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital in Grimsby.

Jenna was diagnosed with papilledema, a condition in which the optic nerve inside the eye begins to swell due to increased pressure in or around
the brain.

She said: “I would like to praise Specsavers Cleethorpes – I went for the eye examination and had all the usual eye tests done which resulted in the optician expressing concern.

“I was advised to visit A&E straight away which led to a diagnosis of papilledema due to intracranial hypertension, which I wouldn’t have known if it wasn’t for the optician spotting it.”

Within ten days of the optician spotting the swelling, Jenna had her bloods tested, a CT and MRI scan, and was given a lumbar puncture to treat the swelling.

Jenna was also referred to the neurology department at Hull Royal Infirmary for part of her treatment She said: “I had a lengthy stay in hospital and a procedure to take pressure off my brain, I now need regular treatment and medication.”

John Maddock, store director at Specsavers Cleethorpes, said: ‘The eye examination showed a swelling on Jenna’s optic disc, we therefore had to act quickly to get her to hospital.

“Her condition, if left untreated, would have caused Jenna to lose her sight completely and can also lead to compression of the cranial nerves.

“Jenna is a clear example of why it is so important to have regular eye exams.”

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