When Marian Doyle started having problems with her vision she thought they might go away naturally. However, her daughter’s insistence that she should have an eye test ended up saving her sight.
Mrs Doyle, 59, started seeing floaters and black lines in her vision in September 2012. She had been experiencing this for about three weeks before she told her daughter Anne Marie, about her difficulties. Mrs Doyle, who runs her own business, said: ‘My daughter works in Specsavers in Athlone and I just happened to mention my symptoms to her. She said I should get an eye test as soon as possible and arranged one for me at the store.’
Anne Marie recognised that her mother’s symptoms could be signs of a more serious problem and organised for her to have an urgent eye test at the Athlone store. After examining Mrs Doyle’s eyes, optometrist Keith McCallion told her she had a retinal tear in her right eye and referred her to a specialist. The next day Mrs Doyle was referred to the Royal Victoria Ear and Eye Hospital in Dublin, where she had laser treatment to repair the tear.
‘All in all it was 24 hours between having my eye test and finishing the treatment, so it all happened very quickly,’ she said. Mrs Doyle was told by doctors that she was lucky the tear was spotted when it was because she would have needed eye surgery if it had been left much longer. Retinal tears can also eventually cause sight loss if left untreated.
After some further treatment two weeks later, Mrs Doyle was given the all clear at a check-up, six weeks after the retinal tear was first discovered. ‘I have no lasting problems with my eyesight, I have a few floaters but that is to be expected,’ she says.
Regular eye examinations are essential for clear, comfortable vision. They are an important health check too - the optometrist checks the health of your eyes and can find indications of other medical conditions. As Ireland’s no. 1 optician, Specsavers has all the latest equipment in its testing rooms including digital retinal photography. This sophisticated process uses a camera to produce detailed images of the back of the eye that can assist in the detection of a variety of health issues, including diabetes, age related macular degeneration and vascular occlusions.