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WAITING for her father-in-law at an opticians’ appointment, Susan Stratful began trying on some frames.

It was a simple act which may have saved her sight. Mrs Stratful visited Kings Hill Opticians in Liberty Square, Kings Hill, with her father-in-law when he went for a sight test. While he was in for his appointment, she began trying on some frames for size and selected a pair she wanted to buy.

She explained that she didn’t have her prescription with her but already visited an opticians near her home in Dartford and had no problems with her vision. But staff insisted the test was done before letting her leave with the frames. When they did, it showed Mrs Stratful had a detached retina, a rare condition which can lead to blindness. She said: “I had no problems with my sight at all, but about a week after the test something dropped in my field of vision. “Just a few days later I had an emergency operation at St Thomas’ Hospital in London. The whole thing happened really quickly and it was quite scary.

“My vision is still a little blurry but it is starting to improve. I’d just like to thank everyone involved.” Practice owner Shatvinder Shoker who carried out the test, said people normally notice some symptoms of a detached retina, such as flashing lights, black spots, or shadows in their vision.

Mr Shoker, who is also principal optometrist at Maidstone Hospital, added: “Although Mrs Stratful had no symptoms, we could see the condition was fresh. It can be quite surprising for patients to be told that after a test, but it is not the first time we have discovered this problem through an eye test.

“If the retina does detach and is left untreated it can lead to blindness. “The main message is that this does show the importance of having regular and thorough eye tests.”

by Mary Graham
Kindly supplied by the Kent Messenger.

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