Routine eye test saves woman’s sight

Louise Wilson (right), and a photograph of the back of one of her eyes, with optometrist Jennifer Long at Specsavers.  (130508M4)
Louise Wilson (right), and a photograph of the back of one of her eyes, with optometrist Jennifer Long at Specsavers. (130508M4)

A routine eye test has saved the vision of a Ripon woman after an optometrist spotted she had a rare eye disorder with “devastating consequences”.

Louise Wilson, 40, attended a regular check-up at Specsavers on Fishergate, but was told there was macula hole on the retina in her right eye, which blocks vision information from getting through and can leave patients blind.

Optometrist Jennifer Long, who treated Ms Wilson, said: “A macula hole forms on the retina, in the area where your central vision is controlled. When a hole develops in this structure, it stops the vision information getting through and can have devastating consequences for a person’s eyesight.”

Mrs Long, who has worked at the Ripon store for seven years, added: “We treated this case as urgent as Louise’s vision had deteriorated and once questioned, she said straight lines were appearing curved. This can be an early warning sign and I knew she needed urgent assistance.”

Ms Wilson, who works as a cleaner, was quickly referred to Harrogate District Hospital, where she had immediate treatment to save her vision.

“Rapid treatment can prevent the permanent loss of central vision but once the damage has progressed it is not reversible. If Louise had not been referred quickly she could have lost complete central vision in her right eye,” 29-year-old Mrs Long told the Gazette.

Ms Wilson said: “I visited Specsavers for a routine test and I hadn’t been suffering from any specific problems with my eyesight. If Specsavers hadn’t identified the symptoms of a macula hole on the day of my appointment, I could have suffered irreversible damage to my eyesight.”

And now Ms Wilson is urging everyone to have their eyesight tested regularly to prevent them from getting any nasty surprises.

“The service I received from Specsavers in Ripon was excellent. I genuinely hold them responsible for saving my eyesight,” she said.