Routine eye tests could save your sight

Kelly Luff, 35, a mother of four from Stevenage is urging people to remember the importance of looking after their eyes and going for regular eye exams.

Kelly went for her first eye test in 5 years in October last year. She hadn’t noticed any changes to her eyes and only had the sight test because she was getting her children’s eyes examined at the same time. Kelly had always had a freckle on her eye and the optometrist noticed straight away there appeared to be something on the freckle. Suspecting a tumour Ash Shah, the optometrist referred Kelly to her local hospital and then to Moorfields where doctors confirmed in January this year that the tumour was cancerous. Whilst Kelly has had to undergo specialist radiotherapy and lost a significant amount of vision in her left eye, she was able to receive treatment before the tumour had had chance to spread.

Kelly said: “I am so grateful to Ash for saving my sight and very possibly my life. My experience really goes to show just how important it is to have regular eye checks. I would urge everyone to have regular eye exams and to seek help as soon as they recognise that something might be wrong. Whilst I have unfortunately lost some vision, I’m actually really positive about the outcome – with four young children I dread to think about how my situation could have turned out.”

Ash Shah MCOptom (Member of the College of Optometrists) and practice director at Vision Express in Stevenage, commented: “I am very glad that Kelly came in for her eye examination when she did and that I was able to play a part in helping to save her sight. Her story is important because it goes to show how crucial it is, at any age, to look after your eyes and have regular eye checks with your optometrist. As optometrists, we are able to look at the overall health of a person’s eye. Whilst tumours are rare, an eye examination can pick up a variety of sight problems as well as symptoms of broader health conditions.”