Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Visit to opticians credited with helping save patient’s life

A Newry man has credited a visit to his local optician with helping to save his life after an underlying health problem was detected during a routine eye test.

Peter Hoey (46) lives with a long-term condition that manifests with stomach problems, but regular treatment manages his symptoms.  However, it was when he began to feel an inflamed, gritty pain behind his eyes he promptly went to an optician as he had never suffered from eye problems in the past.  The visit helped save his life when a bleed behind his eye was detected, resulting in him needing a lifesaving blood transfusion.

Peter takes up the story: “Despite feeling regularly unwell, I never noticed any issues with my eyes. I had never been to an optician before and I have never worn glasses, but when my eyes started to feel sore, I thought I would call in to Specsavers to see if they could help me with my discomfort.”

Peter visited Specsavers at the Buttercrane Shopping Centre, Newry for a standard eye test with optician, Alison Dunne. As soon as Alison started to examine his eyes, she noticed that something wasn’t as it should be and recommended that he had a more advanced eye test in-store using an OCT machine, which is similar to an ultrasound or MRI scan used in a hospital. Alison detected a bleed at the back of his eye and referred him to Daisy Hill Hospital and within ten hours he was called in for an emergency blood transfusion.

Peter added: “I can’t believe how lucky I am to still be here. If I hadn’t gone to Specsavers, I would not be able to tell others that eyes can detect health issues that might go unnoticed such as internal bleeding.”

Alison Dunne, optician and director of Specsavers Newry said praised Peter’s decision to have an eye test: “Peter made the right decision to come in to get his eyes checked because of feeling discomfort. Regular eye tests help people not only monitor their eye’s health and vision but can also detect serious underlying health conditions, he is very fortunate to be alive,” she said.

Now on the road to recovery, Peter takes this opportunity to thank the staff of Daisy Hill Hospital and Specsavers Newry for their care, expertise and assistance.