Eye test saved my sight

Nigel Davidson and Eric Saxton.
Nigel Davidson and Eric Saxton.

A grateful Sutton pensioner says an optician saved his sight after spotting a rare condition in a routine examination.

Eric Baxter is urging people to make sure they get their eyes tested after a trip to an optician led to his diagnosis.

Eric 86, first experienced symptoms while watching a cricket test match in August.

He said: “I found it difficult to watch the match as my right eye was blurred and I kept having to close it.

“I was quite concerned about it, so I made an appointment at my local Specsavers store where I usually have my eyes tested.

“I’ve known the store director, Nigel Davidson, for several years through having regular sight checks and the store’s donations to Mary’s Food Bank @ Sutton, which I managed.”

During the test, Nigel noticed some anomalies in Mr Saxton’s right eye, which led to a more detailed examination with the high-tech Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) machine.

Optometrist Nigel explained: “The OCT technology is a fantastic piece of kit which produces a structural scan of the eye, including layers and surrounding areas that would not normally be visible using traditional eye testing techniques.

Analysing the resulting images of Mr Saxton’s eyes, I could see that the right eye had clear indicators of a serious eye condition called Branch Retinal Vein Occlusion, which had led to a build-up of fluid in the retina.”

Nigel immediately referred Mr Saxton to the eye department at King’s Mill Hospital, where Nigel’s diagnosis was confirmed, and he was given an injection to delay the condition’s progression.

Mr Baxter will continue to have these monthly to manage the condition.

He said: “The sight in my right eye has got slightly better since my first round of treatment and I’m hopeful that this will continue with further injections.

“I am hugely grateful to Nigel at the Specsavers store, who really went above and beyond to do a thorough examination and then to ensure that I was seen quickly at the hospital.

“The symptoms in my eye were getting worse very quickly, so without that it could have been a lot more serious for me.”