A DANCE teacher from Stratford is praising his local opticians after they helped save his sight.
Sergiejs Stepanovs had been suffering from headaches and migraines for several months. Doctors had prescribed pain relief but the symptoms continued – so much so that when the 47-year-old’s vision became cloudy and the headaches worsened, he decided to call into his local opticians on his way to work.
Mr Stepanovs told the Obsever: “I have to confess that I hadn’t had an eye test for a long time, instead I’d been buying ready readers off the shelf, and not really thought about the consequences. What quickly became clear to me, was that neglecting this important health check had put my vision at serious risk”.
Mr Stepanovs popped into Specsavers in Stratford, where optometrist Chris Docker heard him discussing his symptoms in the waiting area and quickly intervened.
Mr Docker said: “I overheard Sergiejs talking about severe pain in his eyes and the alarm bells rang. After speaking with Sergiejs in more detail and carrying out an eye examination I was confident that my initial concerns were right – suspecting closed angle glaucoma”.
Closed-angle glaucoma is a condition where the pressure inside of your eye becomes too high. Immediate treatment is needed to relieve symptoms and to prevent permanent loss of vision.
The high level of the pressure behind his eyes was so alarming that Mr Docker advised Mr Stepanovs to go to A&E immediately.
At Birmingham Eye Casualty the diagnosis of closed angle glaucoma was confirmed and Mr Stepanovs was admitted for laser eye surgery in both eyes to relieve the pressure.
Although now back at work – both at Sainsbury’s and as a dance teacher – Mr Stepanovs is still under the care of the hospital, with monthly check-ups to monitor the condition.
Mr Stepanovs added: “This experience really has taught me to be far more careful about my health. I’m now telling all my friends that they must get regular eye examinations – if I hadn’t made that trip to Specsavers there’s a strong possibility that I could now be blind”.
Glaucoma is one of the leading causes of blindness in the world. Research shows that between 2015 and 2035 the number of people living with glaucoma in the UK is expected to increase by 44 per cent. However, due to its gradual onset, many people don’t realise they have the condition before it is too late.
For more information or to book a sight test, call Specsavers Stratford on 01789 262 606 or go to https://www.specsavers.co.uk/stores/stratforduponavon