A visit to optician changed woman’s life

Specsavers store director, Judith Ball (right) with Lesley Ann Graham.
Specsavers store director, Judith Ball (right) with Lesley Ann Graham.

“Walking into Specsavers changed my life.”

In December 2016, Lesley Ann attended her GP with an ear infection that just wouldn’t go away. Her symptoms extended to include slightly blurred vision and her GP referred her to ENT and advised that she should pay a visit to an optician.

Judith Ball, Specsavers Coleraine, said: “Pictures taken by the fundus camera exposed a more sinister problem. This is a specialised microscope with an attached digital camera which takes a digital picture of the back of the eye. The pictures revealed that both of Lesley Ann’s optic nerves were extremely swollen with clear evidence of haemorrhaging on each. It was quite obvious that she needed further investigation and I referred her immediately to A&E at the Causeway Hospital.”

Lesley Ann was admitted for checks and then transferred her to Antrim Hospital. It was there that she had an operation on her ear and found out that she had a blood clot which necessitated blood thinning medication and further investigation. Lesley Ann was then sent to the opthamology department of the Braid Valley Hospital in Ballymena and on to the Royal Victoria Hospital where she was finally diagnosed with venous sinus thrombosis with mastoiditis – a condition which is difficult to identify but one which could have cost her her sight.

Lesley Ann said: “My advice is to have your eyes tested every two years. It’s amazing how eye health is connected to so many other conditions.”