'Eye test saved my life', says grateful Thornbury man

Gazette Series: Specsavers optometrist Sania Shah with Jason Carroll in their Thornbury store Specsavers optometrist Sania Shah with Jason Carroll in their Thornbury store

A VISIT to an opticians proved to be life-saving for a Thornbury father-of-two after it helped diagnose a brain tumour.

Jason Carroll, 44, noticed that the vision in his right eye was deteriorating and began finding it difficult to read print close up towards the end of the day, as well as experiencing flashes of light.

He made an appointment at Specsavers for a sight test and was seen by pre-registration optician Sania Shah.

During the examination, Ms Shah used digital retinal photography to examine the back of Mr Carroll’s eyes and noticed a swelling and paleness of both optic discs as well as some small haemorrhages.

She immediately referred Mr Carroll to Bristol Eye Hospital where they carried out more tests to determine the problem.

"I’d just been attributing my difficulty reading with getting older,’ says Mr Carroll.

"On my third visit to the hospital the neurosurgeon said they had found a small tumour.

"This turned out to be quite a large tumour which was across the whole of my forehead and was pushing my brain back - which was why I was getting migraines and experiencing problems with my vision.

"I was then admitted to Frenchay Hospital and two days later underwent an 11-and-a-half hour operation to remove the tumour. It all happened so quickly.

"That was back in October and after some adjustments to my lifestyle, I now feel fully recovered. I no longer have daily migraines and will be returning to my construction job soon."

Mr Carroll’s wife Amanda, daughter Christina, 20, and son Benjamin, 14, are relieved to have their husband and father back to normal.

Mr Carroll, who was born in Thornbury, recently moved with his family from their home in Hazel Crescent to North Wales but still has other family who live in the town.

He added: "I had an MRI scan last week and am just waiting for the final results to come through.

"I’m extremely grateful to Specsavers for picking up that there was a problem. I was told at the hospital that if the tumour hadn’t been spotted I would almost certainly have gone blind and there was also a high possibility that I would have been dead by Christmas.

"I’d urge anyone to make sure they have regular sight tests or visit an optician if they notice any changes in their vision."

Ms Shah said: "As soon as I looked at the back of Mr Carroll’s eyes I knew something wasn’t right.

"I knew it was important for him to get to hospital as quickly as possible and I’m just really pleased that the problem was diagnosed and treated so promptly at the Eye Hospital.

"We recommend a sight test every two years but it’s also important that people make an appointment if anything changes with their vision, as Mr Carroll’s case clearly highlights. It’s great that he’s on the road to recovery."

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