Sharp-eyed optometrist saves patient’s eye

editorial image

AN ARBROATH man is recovering well after having a major eye problem picked up by Specsavers staff during a routine visit to the facility in the Abbeygate Mall.

Bruce Du-Tracy was later diagnosed with a tumour in his eye which required surgery and a radioactive implant.

The 50-year-old had visited the Abbeygate Centre opticians for a routine eye examination having experienced no symptoms from the choroidal melanoma in his right eye.

He has annual check ups with the hospital eye service as he is at risk of developing glaucoma. Having been checked by the hospital six months previously with no problems detected he was due for his regular eye examination.

Mr Du-Tracy said: “I am so pleased to be on the road to recovery and I owe huge thanks to Kenny at Specsavers for his professionalism and making sure I got the best possible care.”

When optometrist and ophthalmic director Kenny Johnston tested Mr Du-Tracy’s eyes he immediately suspected a serious problem, noticing an irregularity at the back of the eye.

Following some additional procedures and tests including dilating drops and fundus photography, which provides precise images of the eyes, Mr Johnston’s initial fears were all but confirmed.

Mr Johnston referred him to Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, where he was then referred to Gartnavel Hospital in Glasgow where a biopsy diagnosed the tumour. Mr Du-Tracy then had an operation to insert a radioactive chip in his eye to stop the tumour’s progression.

Kenny Johnston said: “I have seen many sight threatening conditions in my career and also a couple of life threatening ones. However Bruce’s is certainly the rarest, affecting roughly five people per million each year.

“We pride ourselves on the professional eye care we provide and I’m delighted that we were able to play a part in managing to save Bruce’s sight. His case highlights the importance of regular sight tests as his tumour was symptom-less and could have led to him having his eye removed.”

Arbroath Specsavers, store director Jamie Buchan, added: “There are many people who don’t go to the opticians unless they notice a problem such as blurred vision or headaches.

“Bruce’s situation highlights the fact that an eye examination is an essential health check irrespective of how good you think your vision is. As well as detecting problems with vision it can also highlight health problems.

“There is no barrier to having your eyes examined in Scotland as it is fully funded by the Scottish Government via the NHS.”

Mr Du-Tracy concluded: “The eye specialist told me that had I not attended for my eye examination I would have lost my eye. Due to the thorough eye exam and quick actions by Kenny and his team at Specsavers Arbroath, I was successfully treated and have my eye and 20/20 vision.

“I would like to advise people to take the time and take advantage of the free sight tests, which after all has saved my sight in my right eye.”