Ashby optician makes a potentially life-saving find during eight-year-old's eye test

  Posted: 08.06.21 at 14:32 by Ashby Nub News

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An eye test carried out at the Ashby branch of Specsavers might have saved the life of an eight-year-old boy.

When Catherine Sherriff was reminded that her son Alfie's routine eye test was due, she booked him an appointment straight away at the Market Street optician.

Little did she know that he would end up in hospital to be treated for papilloedema, a condition, which left undetected, could be life-threatening.

‘I’ve always been an advocate of going to the opticians to get my family’s eyes tested regularly," said Catherine.

"It’s even more important for Alfie because he has a squint, so when I received an email reminding me his six-month routine appointment was due, I put it at the top of my to-do list.

"Alfie was also complaining of headaches, which I initially put down to nerves since the schools were due to re-open in a couple of weeks.

"But seeing as he was due to go to the opticians, I thought the timing was perfect and he’d be able to get checked out."

Alfie was seen by optometrist, Adnan Nawaz, who carried out a full eye examination.

Noticing that something was not quite right, Adnan used an OCT (optical coherence tomography) scan, which allowed him to look deeper into Alfie’s eyes – giving a deeper analysis of the underlying structures.

"The images captured from the OCT clearly showed that there was something wrong with the nerves in the back of Alfie’s eyes,’ says Adnan.

"I noticed that the nerves in his eyes were raised, which is often an extremely worrying sign when combined with the symptoms Alfie was reporting. I immediately suggested his family visit the local hospital."

Alfie’s visit to the Children’s Emergency Department at Leicester Royal Infirmary resulted in being admitted, where he was diagnosed with bilateral papilloedema, a neurological condition that is caused by increased intracranial pressure.

To resolve the issue, Alfie, from Swadlincote, underwent lumbar puncture treatment to help relieve the swelling on his brain.

"It all happened so fast,’ added Catherine. ‘Within three weeks of Alfie’s eye test at Specsavers, he’s been diagnosed and has now received treatment.

"While Alfie’s still being monitored by the hospital, I’ve noticed a huge improvement in his mood and he’s not experiencing headaches anymore, which is a huge relief.

"I cannot thank Adnan enough. He took extreme care to ensure Alfie had a thorough eye examination, which led to the diagnosis and potentially saved his life. I’m extremely grateful to the team for what they’ve done, and Alfie is too."

Adnan said: ‘It’s great to hear that Alfie is making a full recovery, he’s certainly a very brave boy.

"The OCT is such a great piece of equipment to have at the store that makes diagnoses much easier. It’s stories like Alfie’s that highlight the importance of seeing your optician regularly, especially when you’ve noticed any unusual symptoms."

In line with NHS recommendations, Specsavers colleagues use personal protective equipment (PPE) throughout the stores, wear face masks and other PPE during tests, and all testing equipment and frames are thoroughly sanitised before and after each use.

All appointments need to be made in advance and there are also be restrictions on the number of customers allowed in store at any one time, strict social distancing rules and, where possible, card instead of cash payments.

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