A Warrington optician has narrowly avoided losing his eyesight after suffering from retinal tears in both eyes, which was first identified by a colleague from the same store.
Earlier this year, Optometrist Jeff Berry noticed floaters and flashes in his vision, describing the latter as looking like shooting stars at the side of his eyes. When he began to also notice new shimmery floaters on his vision, he decided to get a professional opinion from his colleague at Specsavers store in Warrington.
Colleague James Cossar reviewed Jeff’s eyesight before gravely diagnosing him with a potentially sight-threatening retinal tear. This occurs when the thin layer at the back of the eye (the retina) is torn, which can lead to retinal detachment and a severe loss of vision.
On realising the severity of his situation, Jeff was sent to A&E at Warrington Hospital to receive emergency laser surgery that same night.
Due to some complications meaning that doctors were unable to laser around the entire tear, Jeff was required to return for a check-up appointment the following week.
While Jeff expected to turn up for his check-up and be quickly discharged, Jeff was instead informed he was also slowly developing a retinal tear in his second eye for which he underwent a second laser treatment to remedy.
Though now fully recovered from the operations to treat his double retinal tears, Jeff is thankful for his colleague discovering the disorder so early, saying: “I only asked James to take a look at my eye as a casual precaution, I never thought it would end up leading to discovering retinal tears in both of my eyes!
“Retinal tears aren’t particularly common, but they need to be treated very quickly once diagnosed to ensure they don’t develop into retinal detachments, so I’m so glad we were able to intervene before it reached a more sinister point.
“I’d advise anyone who is experiencing anything irregular with their vision to get it checked out, however small it feels. It really could be life-saving.”