Routine eye test saved man’s sight

Gordon Dickens with Daniel Harris at Specsavers
Gordon Dickens with Daniel Harris at Specsavers
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A Hemel Hempstead grandfather whose eyesight was saved after a routine sight test is urging others to make time for regular check-ups.

Gordon Dickens, who runs the Tutor Doctor educational support business, was diagnosed and treated for a detaching retina following his first visit to Specsavers in Hemel.

Gordon said: “It had been a long time since I’d had an eye test and my eyes felt fine.

“I was conscious, however, that I had had several pairs of prescription specs in the past, and thought it was time to do something about it.

“I had no symptoms or difficulties but the optician who carried out my eye test conducted a thorough examination and wasn’t happy about something he saw in my right eye. He called me back for a second look and then referred me to my local hospital for further investigation.”

Gordon was seen by specialists at Stoke Mandeville Hospital, where small retinal spots detected by the optician were found to be lesions, caused by a detaching retina.

He was operated on the day after his diagnosis.

Retinal detachment is often age related and can occur when the retina becomes thinner and begins to pull away from its underlying blood vessels. If untreated, it leads to blindness in the affected eye.

Store director Daniel Harris said: “Many people put off eye tests as they haven’t perceived any changes in their vision. But it’s important to remember eye tests can not only accurately monitor deterioration in your eyesight but, importantly, check their general wellbeing. We can detect indicators of everything from glaucoma to diabetes, and, in Gordon’s case, a detaching retina.

“We were pleased to hear Gordon has had a positive outcome, and would like to renew our call to Hemel Hempstead residents to put eye health on their agendas in 2016.”