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Eye test spots blindness risk
WHEN Melksham mum Michelle Isaacs went to buy new glasses last year she had no idea the routine check-up would save her from blindness.
Miss Isaacs, 29, of Forest Road, Melksham, went into Specsavers in the town last autumn and was shocked to hear that she was facing blindness if she did not receive urgent treatment.
“I have had bad eyes from when I was a child, but I only went in to get a new pair of glasses,” said the full-time mum to 15-month-old Theo. “They’re back in fashion now, so I went in just thinking I wanted to get a new pair, but I walked out thinking I could die.”
Her eyes were examined by store director Martyn Thomas who noticed a swelling of her optic nerve known as papilloedema, and immediately referred her to Bath Royal United Hospital for a further assessment.
After an MRI scan ruled out any abnormalities in her brain Miss Isaacs underwent a lumbar puncture.
This confirmed that she was suffering from increased intracranial pressure, which can lead to permanent blindness.
She said: “Now I know what I have got it’s controlled with medication, but being told I had to go to hospital with brain problems was awful. I was so scared.
“I need to take medication for the rest of my life, but I’m a lot better now. I get headaches still but nothing compared to what I did have.
“Eyesight is precious, so I would encourage everyone to have regular eye tests, whether you are suffering with bad eyesight or not.”
Mr Thomas said: “Swelling to the optic nerve is often an indication of another underlying problem and therefore we take it very seriously.
“We’re glad to have been able to help Miss Isaacs and we hope her case highlights the importance of regular eye examinations.”