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


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 typically match and correctly, little Alfie, from Derbyshire, began combating headaches, which had been put correct all the best way all the way 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 tips after noticing her son had furthermore developed a squint.

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

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

It could also be deadly for some, set off sight loss or excessive modifications in imaginative and prescient for others.

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

Giles Edmonds, Specsavers medical companies director, acknowledged: “Such tales really do put it into perspective that everytime you expertise any modifications to your imaginative and prescient or have common indicators, it will be important see an optician.

“Lots of people do not know that such successfully being elements could also be acknowledged by 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 absolutely dropping her sight, alongside together with her profession, is 53-year-old Lesley Grocock.

The present driver from Nottingham began to expertise black dots in her imaginative and prescient, which she initially put correct all the best way all the way down to getting older – nonetheless she was really struggling a retinal tear in her eye.

Lesley acknowledged: “I’m regularly speeding spherical 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 would possibly want misplaced his sightCredit: Steve Richmond

Lesley underwent an operation the next day to revive the tear with three stitches and the insertion of a silicone rubber implant, adopted by a second course of six weeks later to take away the silicone, together with a cataract that had shaped.

These tales reinforce a warning from specialists that 1000’s and 1000’s of individuals are liable to sight factors, and even life-threatening circumstances, throughout 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 elementary eye successfully being specialists and charities, there have been 4.3 million fewer eye exams in 2020 – a 23 per cent drop as in contrast with the earlier 12 months.

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

As a end consequence, eye successfully being specialists are predicting a critical rise in imaginative and prescient loss and completely totally different successfully being circumstances all through the months and years forward.


According to the report, practically 3,000 folks (2,986) are estimated to have already misplaced their imaginative and prescient ensuing from delayed identification and therapy of eye illness through the pandemic.

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

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

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 furthermore carried out analysis of 5,000 adults that discovered 15 per cent have delayed having an eye test by a concern of being instructed that they could have an additional excessive condition.

And a lot of in a single in 10 (12 per cent) revealed well being coronary heart courses had been prioritised forward of an eye test.

Concerns about the worth 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 of the start of the pandemic.

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

Giles Edmonds added: “Ahead of National Eye Health Week this month, I urge folks to data 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 research the complete report, go to

Lesley experienced black dots in her vision, which turned out to be a retinal tear in her eye
Lesley professional 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 acknowledged if she’d left it merely only a few weeks longer, she would possibly want misplaced her eyesightCredit: Steve Richmond


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