A great grandfather from Kent says he is eternally grateful to an optician who prevented him from having a major stroke. Graham Butteriss, from Tonbridge, was fast tracked by our Optometrist Linzi Bacon when she realised there was a potentially serious cause to his intermittent blurred vision. Scans revealed a 70-80% blockage in an artery in his neck – and he was told he was lucky he had not already had a major stroke.
Graham Butteriss and Linzi Bacon
71-year-old Mr Butteriss, who has six children, five stepchildren, 22 grandchildren and six great grandchildren, was told by his doctor to see an optician in August when his right eye became blurry whenever he bent down or lifted anything heavy. Within less than a week of going to the opticians he had undergone scans revealing that he had probably already had two minor strokes and was waiting for emergency surgery to clear the blockage on his artery.
‘I am eternally grateful to Linzi Bacon for detecting something was not right in my eye and definitely saving me from a major stroke,’ commented the part-time caretaker, who lives in Cardinal Close. ‘When the consultants saw the extent of the blockage on my artery, they were amazed I hadn’t already had a serious stroke. I am very lucky to be here – and very lucky that Linzi picked up the warning signs and rushed me through the system.’
Senior Optometrist Linzi Bacon spent several years working in high-street outlets before joining the Kings Hill Opticians family. ‘The eyes give a real window into general health, so a major part of our training is understanding the underlying complications that can manifest in changes in vision and eye health,’ she explained. ‘Although Mr Butteriss has regular eye checks because of a family history of glaucoma, I knew when I examined him that there was something serious that needed investigating straight away, and am delighted that my colleagues in the hospitals were able to act so quickly to investigate and solve the problem, so that Mr Butteriss is no longer in immediate risk of a major stroke.’
The blockage was removed by vascular surgeon Waleed Edrees at Medway Maritime Hospital just 10 days after Mr Butteriss visited Linzi. ‘This was a very severe blockage in the main artery that supplies the brain and was potentially very dangerous. Mr Butteriss is very lucky that the optician who examined his eyes identified this and made an urgent referral for him to the vascular unit. Blockage in the main artery that supplies the brain is one of the leading causes of stroke. Careful examination of the eye can identify changes that indicate blockage in the main artery that supplies the brain leading to further investigations and surgery to prevent stroke.’
‘I never go to the doctor for anything at all, and would probably have put the blurred vision down to old age, if I hadn’t felt a bit of pressure in my eye and thought I ought to get it checked out as my nephew was born blind from glaucoma and both my brother and sister now have it,’ said Mr Butteriss. ‘I also had two instances in the previous three weeks in which my left leg had gone completely lame, and I had put those down to old age as well. But it turns out they were probably minor strokes and it was all related.’
The 71-year-old, who works part-time as a caretaker at Zoe Evans Childcare in Holborough near Snodland, was left with a scar from his ear to the top of his neck following the surgery to remove the blockage, but says this is a small price to pay. ‘Even though the scar is seven inches long, it’s almost completely gone now, and I am gradually getting back to normal,’ he commented. ‘I was talking to a chap shortly after the operation whose best friend had just died of a stroke in his 30s. It brings it all home – and make me realise how lucky I am that Linzi acted so quickly.
PHOTO CREDIT: Emily Brown Photography
As seen on South East News on Saturday Evening,....
Open day: Your most comfortable pair of glasses – unique to you
Kings Hill Opticians are delighted to be one of only a handful of practices in the country to be able to offer patients the dispensing revolution of VisiOffice X. This 3D, cutting-edge technology redefines optics dispensing to create bespoke glasses for each patient, offering the clearest, most natural vision possible.
Cataracts are a well-known disease caused by the clouding of the lens of the eye. The condition is mostly associated with the aging process. Detecting it early allows us to track the changes which can occur in your prescription which sometimes help predict the speed of changes, this in turn allows us to ensure that you are referred to the correct specialists to ensure you enjoy the best eye health and vision possible.
Have Age-related Macular Degeneration? We may have the answer
If you or a loved one suffer from AMD, you may be resigned to poor vision. But you don’t need to be! Our innovative E-Scoop lenses can be amazing at improving vision for AMD sufferers, giving them a new lease of life.
Night driving with confidence
Do you find driving in the dark difficult? We have the solutions to get your night-driving confidence back – especially during these long winter evenings.
Don’t give up on your New Year’s resolutions – they’re great for your eye health
How are your New Year’s resolutions going? We’re mid-February and many of you may have forgotten about them, but we’ve got a reason to motivate you to help keep on track: New Year’s resolutions can be great for your eye health. Our guide will help strengthen your resolve to help you stick to your guns.
An award-winning start to the year
We’ve kicked off 2019 with a flying start, being shortlisted as finalists for the national Opticians Awards 2019 and winning Essilor’s National Bespoke Varilux Practice of the Year!
How to look after your eyes on the ski slopes this winter
If you’re planning on hitting the slopes this winter, it is important to look after your eyes. Ultra violet light can be more powerful on the ski slopes because of the snow’s reflectiveness, so it’s vital that you prepare properly and get the right protection. Our expert opticians explain the dangers high levels of exposure can cause, and what you need to do to look after your eyes.
How our interest-free credit can benefit you this Christmas
We all know that the main role of glasses is to enable you to see clearly, but they become part of your face and personality, so it’s important that they make you feel and look fabulous as well.
How copper mesh lenses help you look after your eyes
Copper mesh spectacle lenses are a revolutionary product that can help with a whole range of eye conditions, many of which are aggravated at this time of year, when we spend more time indoors with drying central heating and working by electric light for more hours of the day. If you suffer from tired eyes, headaches, motion sickness, Multiple Sclerosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Fibromyalgia or even reading difficulties, they could be the solution you’ve been looking for.
Alcohol Awareness Week – the problems of being blind drunk
Alcohol Awareness Week, running between the 19 and 25 November, aims to encourage people to change their relationships with drink. We all know that drinking too much can have serious consequences on your health – but did you know that it can also impact your eye health?
Looking after your eyes this winter
Winter can be a magical time for everybody. To make sure it is kept that way, we’ve put together a short guide on the signs to look out for to ensure you keep on top of your eye health during the colder months so that you don’t run into any future problems.
World Diabetes Day – diabetes and eye health
World Diabetes Day on 14 November is seeing to raise awareness about the disease to help people prevent, spot and manage it more successfully. The link between diabetes and eye health is profound: blurred and variable vision can be one of the first signs of diabetes, and diabetes is one of the leading causes of blindness.
Kings Hill Opticians Saved My Life
2018 Sports Sunglasses range
Opticians awards 2018
We are delighted to be selected for the Finals of the National Awards as Independent Practice of the Year.
Read About us in the papers!
See what the news has to say about us
Copper Mesh Spectacle Lenses to help eliminate glare and eyestrain
Eyezen lenses: relaxing eyes to help protect visual health
Eyezen focus reduces eyestrain and improves small character readability. Light scan reduces glare, improves contrast and helps prevent premature aging of your eyes.
New hope for Macular Degeneration Suffers
Blocks UV + Harmful Blue-Violet light (transmitted by modern digital devices) and helps prevent premature eye ageing
Diagnosis error revealed 15 years on
A KINGS Hill woman who has been treated for an eye condition for 15 years has found out she never suffered from the illness.
I was lucky not to lose my eyesight
WAITING for her father-in-law at an opticians’ appointment, Susan Stratful began trying on some frames.