An Arbroath woman was shocked to discover her failing sight and headaches had less to do with needing glasses and more to do with an undiagnosed brain tumour.
Lorna Hayes, 48, was given the shock news after visiting her local branch of Specsavers expecting to be told she needed a stronger lens prescription after suffering from headaches and loss of vision in one eye.
She said: “I started to get dull headaches – they wouldn’t last very long but began to happen frequently throughout the course of a day. I’d had the headaches for a couple of months when the sight in my right eye worsened.
“It was almost like there was a white film over my eye. As well as feeling uncomfortable, it became very scary as I struggled to even cross the road on my own. I was constantly bumping into things, especially in shops.
“I already wore glasses and assumed that a stronger prescription would cure the headaches and enable me to see clearly again.”
Lorna was seen by ophthalmic director Kenny Johnston who ran a number of tests.
He explained: “During Lorna’s eye examination, it became apparent that her prescription hadn’t changed – just her ability to see through the eye.
“I knew something was definitely amiss and my initial thought was that the optic nerve may have been inflamed. I referred Lorna to eye specialists at Ninewells Hospital immediately.”
After several tests and MRI scans, Lorna was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour at the back of her optic nerve. In July she underwent a successful six-hour operation at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary to remove the tumour.
Lorna said: “I’d like to thank the staff at Specsavers and Kenny in particular for acting so fast and referring me straight away. I’d never dreamed that my sight loss was caused by a brain tumour.”
Kenny concluded: “Cases like Lorna’s are very rare – since opening in Arbroath 12 years ago, we’ve only come across three or four patients that have gone on to be diagnosed with a brain tumour following an eye test.
“Thankfully, most of the customers we see with headaches and symptoms similar to Lorna’s are usually pretty routine problems and easily treated.
“Nevertheless, it’s extremely important to act quickly if you experience any symptoms such as headaches or a reduction or loss of vision. If Lorna hadn’t booked an appointment with us, it’s likely her tumour would have continued to grow, putting her in danger of losing her sight completely.”