Kenilworth woman thankful after eye test picks up serious health condition early

Clarissa Hall having her eye tested
Clarissa Hall having her eye tested

A Kenilworth woman is encouraging people not to neglect their vision problems after an eye test picked up a serious health condition which may have got worse had it not been identified.

Clarissa Hall, 76, had been experiencing problems with foggy vision in her left eye in March. She made an appointment to have an eye test at Specsavers in The Square.

She was seen by optometrist Amir Nassar, who carried out a full eye examination.

He suspected it was a case of amaurosis fugax - a short-lived episode of blindness in one eye. It can develop suddenly and is caused by a blockage, or low blood flow within the main blood vessel supplying the eye and can be the symptom of a stroke.

Amir said: "Thankfully I was able to act swiftly, knowing the seriousness of the situation and get Mrs Hall seen on the same day at Walsgrave Hospital eye casualty department.

"Investigations proved that my initial diagnosis was correct, and that Mrs Hall had suffered a minor stroke."

Clarissa is now receiving treatment for her condition and is being monitored by the hospital.

She said: "My experience has really highlighted just how important it is not to neglect any issues you are having with your vision.

"Had it not been for that visit to the optician I might not have been aware of my condition, or received the appropriate treatment, that really doesn’t bear thinking about.

"I had no idea the optician could pick up so many different conditions, and I’ll certainly be encouraging other people to get their eyes checked regularly."

Eye tests are able to pick up a number of associated conditions such as with this case. Research published by Specsavers and charity Royal National Institute of Blind People, shows one in five people will live with sight loss in their lifetime despite at least half of all cases being avoidable if detected early enough through examinations such as an eye test.

Amir added: "Mrs Hall’s story illustrates the importance of regular eye examinations. Eye tests aren’t just important for vision but also for general health, as other problems can be detected including high blood pressure, brain tumours and diabetes.

"We’d urge everyone to make sure that they have their eyes tested every two years, unless they’re experiencing any problems in which case they should visit their optician sooner."