Specsavers Opticians reminds customers to get digital retinal photography screening after optician discovers tumour in Welsh teen

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The BBC reported in January the case of a sixth form student who was diagnosed with a brain tumour the size of an orange during a routine visit to the optician. Specsavers is now reminding customers that digital retinal photography is a valued part of an eye exam.

Digital retinal screening can play a vital role in the early diagnosis and management of many conditions, which can lead to blindness if not detected at an early stage.

A routine visit to the opticians last May saved the life of 17-year-old Chloe Jones from Merthyr Tydfil.1 Suffering dizzy spells and headaches reading, the sixth form student believed she required glasses. Instead, the digital retinal screening included in Miss Jones' eye exam revealed a swelling of the optic nerve head at the back of her eye.

Optometrist Brian Borland immediately referred Miss Jones to hospital, where doctors discovered a brain tumour the size of an orange. Following a course of steroids to reduce the tumour and an operation to remove it, Miss Jones is now expected to make a full recovery.

Miss Jones says: ‘I would never have known how serious my symptoms were had I not gone in for an eye examination. The photographs taken at Specsavers literally saved my life. More people should know about the benefits of the camera and how it should form part of your regular eye test.’

In light of this, Specsavers is reminding customers that digital retinal photography is a valued part of an eye examination.

Paul Carroll, director of professional services for Specsavers, says: ‘Digital retinal screening can play a vital role in the early diagnosis and management of many conditions, which can lead to blindness if not detected at an early stage. Some, such as Chloe’s, can even be life-threatening. The images also help the customer to gain a better understanding of what is happening.’

The advanced procedure uses a camera to take a picture of the back of the eye – the only part of the human body where the microcirculation of the blood can be directly observed.

Each photograph is kept as a permanent record and used to detect and manage a variety of conditions, including diabetic change, macular degeneration and optic nerve disease, as well as life-threatening conditions such as tumours.

Many high street opticians require payment for digital retinal screening, on top of the cost of an eye examination. At Specsavers' 640 stores, it is offered as part of the standard eye test and at no additional cost for customers aged over 40, or where a GP or optician recommends it.

To book an eye test or to find your nearest Specsavers, please call 0800 068 0241 or log onto http://www.specsavers.co.uk.

References
(1) Benign tumour discovery after Merthyr girl's eye test http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-16534803

Issued by Beattie Communications on behalf of Specsavers Opticians http://www.specsavers.co.uk

For more information or case studies, please contact: Gareth Anderson, Jordanne Young or Chantel Richman
T: 020 7053 6000
E: nationalspecsavers(at)onlybeattie(dot)com

About Specsavers                        

  • Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world
  • The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their son John is joint managing director
  • Specsavers has more than 1,600 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group was £1.36 billion for 2009/10 and is forecast to reach £1.55 billion in 2010/11.
  • Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners. Together, they offer both optical and hearing services under one roof.
  • Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff
  • Specsavers was voted Britain’s most trusted brand of opticians for the tenth year running by the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brands survey 2011
  • More than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers * – 9,700,000 glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2009
  • Specsavers was ranked No 1 for both eye tests and glasses in the UK *

*GfK NOP

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Anna Reich
Beattie Communications
0207 053 6000
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