Optician saves pensioner's sight after spotting detached retina

Hedge End Specsavers optician Yi Jia with patient June Holden from Hamble.  Photo: Specsavers <i>(Image: Other)</i>
Hedge End Specsavers optician Yi Jia with patient June Holden from Hamble. Photo: Specsavers (Image: Other)

A PENSIONER'S eyesight was saved after an optician spotted she had a detached retina.

June Holden, 73, had a shadow in the vision of her right eye and went to Specsavers for help.

Optician Yi Jia quickly saw the problem and warned she was facing permanent and severe loss of vision or blindness.

Yi urged June to go to Southampton General Hospital immediately - but June was unsure and planned to go the next day.

Staff at the store convinced June to go that afternoon armed with Yi's referral letter.

Hospital staff saw the problem and June was in surgery having her retina reattached.

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She said: "The Specsavers staff were amazing. They were so calm and professional and reassuring.

"If it wasn’t for them, I might have thought the shadow in my vision was nothing, and that could have caused me to lose the sight in my right eye.

"I wasn’t in pain because of it. I just thought I had a stye coming. So it just shows, you should always get your eyes looked at if you think there’s something wrong.

"There’s every chance it might be nothing, but it might not be nothing and you’ll be so glad you got it treated.

"The hospital surgeon explained that my detached retina was like wallpaper that was coming away from the wall and needed sticking back, which I thought was a good way of explaining it.

"I was nervous about the surgery, but it was over in half an hour. They were fantastic.

"The whole day was a bit unnerving – but I still have my vision.

"That’s the important thing. It’s all been amazing. They did say there’s a possibility that it might happen in my left eye, but I’m ready for that now.’

The retina is the light-sensitive layer of tissue that lines the back of the eye. It is responsible for receiving light and translating it into electrical signals to send to the brain, where it creates the images we see.

Symptoms of retinal detachment can be flashes of light in the eye, a sudden increase in the number of floaters in one eye, or the appearance of a shadow coming across a person’s vision.

Sam Thaker, Director at the Specsavers Hedge End store, says: "We’re so glad June’s story had such a positive outcome."

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