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Boy, 8, suffers headaches after being nervous about school – before eye test uncovers life-threatening brain condition

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MEET eight-year-old Alfie Barney – who’s fortunate to be alive following a life-threatening condition, which was solely picked up by a routine eye test.

Despite being usually match and nicely, little Alfie, from Derbyshire, began struggling with headaches, which had been put right down to nerves about returning to school.

Alfie’s life-threatening brain condition was solely found after a routine eye testCredit: Steve Richmond

Mum Catherine determined to place an eye test on the prime of her checklist after noticing her son had additionally developed a squint.

But through the test at Specsavers in Ashby-de-la-Zouch, optician Adnan Nawaz instantly observed one thing was very incorrect and swiftly advisable the kid be taken to accident and emergency.

There, Alfie was identified with bilateral papilloedema, a neurological condition that’s attributable to elevated intracranial strain.

It might be deadly for some, trigger sight loss or severe modifications in imaginative and prescient for others.

Thankfully, because of the swift analysis, Alfie underwent lumbar puncture remedy to assist relieve the swelling on his brain and has since made a full restoration.

Giles Edmonds, Specsavers medical companies director, stated: “Such tales actually do put it into perspective that everytime you expertise any modifications to your imaginative and prescient or have steady signs, it’s essential see an optician.

“Lots of people do not know that such well being points might be recognized via an eye test.

“Thankfully, in Alfie’s case, it was a happy ending, but this might not be so with others who ignore symptoms through fear of what that could mean for their health.”

Another who narrowly prevented completely dropping her sight, in addition to her profession, is 53-year-old Lesley Grocock.

The supply driver from Nottingham began to expertise black dots in her imaginative and prescient, which she initially put right down to getting older – however she was really struggling a retinal tear in her eye.

Lesley stated: “I’m all the time speeding round and simply hadn’t discovered the time to make an opticians appointment.

“As it turns out, if I’d left it just a couple of weeks longer, I could have lost the sight in my eye – it doesn’t bear thinking about.”

The little boy could have lost his sight
The little boy might have misplaced his sightCredit: Steve Richmond

Lesley underwent an operation the subsequent day to restore the tear with three stitches and the insertion of a silicone rubber implant, adopted by a second process six weeks later to take away the silicone, in addition to a cataract that had shaped.

These tales reinforce a warning from specialists that thousands and thousands of individuals are liable to sight issues, and even life-threatening situations, in the event that they fail to attend routine eye checks.

According to a State of the UK’s Eye Health 2021 report, commissioned by Specsavers in collaboration with main eye well being specialists and charities, there have been 4.3 million fewer eye exams in 2020 – a 23 per cent drop in comparison with the earlier 12 months.

An extra 235,000 eye hospital appointments had been missed or delayed all through the pandemic.

As a end result, eye well being specialists are predicting a major rise in imaginative and prescient loss and different well being situations within the months and years forward.


According to the report, virtually 3,000 individuals (2,986) are estimated to have already misplaced their imaginative and prescient resulting from delayed identification and remedy of eye illness through the pandemic.

And the variety of individuals being referred with suspected glaucoma – generally known as the ‘silent thief of sight’ – fell by 43,000 throughout March to December 2020, of which 2,600 would have been for pressing remedy.

The State of the UK’s Eye Health 2021 report is estimating a three-year wait to clear the backlog of missed appointments, which might lead to an extra wait of 57.2 million days for eye surgical procedure.

It can be predicted that the pandemic will add an additional £2.5 billion to price of UK sight loss and blindness between 2021 and 2024, along with an present annual approximation of £36 billion.

Specsavers additionally performed analysis of 5,000 adults that discovered 15 per cent have delayed having an eye test via a worry of being instructed that they could have a extra severe condition.

And multiple in a single in 10 (12 per cent) revealed fitness center lessons had been prioritised forward of an eye test.

Concerns about the price of an eye test, and subsequently glasses, has induced 27 per cent of individuals to delay reserving an eye test, regardless of 16 per cent admitting that headaches or migraines have impacted their imaginative and prescient because the starting of the pandemic.

While 17 per cent of these polled, through OnePoll, suspect that they could have already got an underlying challenge they’ve but to see an optician.

Giles Edmonds added: “Ahead of National Eye Health Week this month, I urge individuals to guide their eye exams.

“They’re usually quick and straightforward, while also giving you the peace of mind that you don’t have underlying issues that could lead to any number of health issues.”

To learn the total report, go to www.specsavers.co.uk.

Lesley experienced black dots in her vision, which turned out to be a retinal tear in her eye
Lesley skilled black dots in her imaginative and prescient, which turned out to be a retinal tear in her eyeCredit: Steve Richmond
She said if she’d left it just a couple of weeks longer, she could have lost her eyesight
She stated if she’d left it simply a few weeks longer, she might have misplaced her eyesightCredit: Steve Richmond


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