Brain tumour diagnosed with help of optician

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A woman was diagnosed with a pituitary brain tumour following a visit to a Belper opticians.

Ann Walker, 46, visited Specsavers on King Street for a routine eye test in January and told her optometrist about a ‘pulling’ sensation she had been feeling in her left eye for a number of days.

She was seen by the store’s optometrist Sohan Mistry who quickly picked up that the sight in her left eye had deteriorated significantly since her last eye test in 2009.

Mr Mistry referred Mrs Walker to Royal Derby Hospital immediately were doctors diagnosed a pituitary brain tumour. The pituitary gland is a small oval shaped gland found at the base of the brain, below the optic nerve – the nerve that leads to and from the eye.

Mrs Walker has since had surgery to remove the tumour and as a result her eye sight has improved.

She said: “I am very grateful to Specsavers in helping to uncover this tumour. When I went for the eye test I had no idea how much sight I had lost in my left eye due to damage which had been caused by the tumour pressing on my optic nerve.

“Like most people, I simply put my worsening eye sight down to the fact that I was getting older, however, in hindsight I should really have gone for an eye test sooner. During the test the extent of the loss of sight in my left eye became apparent and was a complete shock to me.

“I couldn’t even see the board with the letters on it, let alone the letters with my left eye.

She added: “Mr Mistry’s immediate referral was key to getting my condition diagnosed. Without that visit I could have risked losing all the sight in my left eye and, as the tumour was large, potentially the sight in my right eye too as well as the other symptoms caused by the tumour”

Sohan Mistry said: ‘Mrs Walker’s case demonstrates how eye examinations can uncover a range of health problems, not just those restricted to sight.

“People should visit their optician regularly. We recommend every two years.”