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Routine Eye Test Specsavers Detects Pituitary Tumour

Monday, 31 August 2009

Arbroath resident Alexina Kundl owes her sight to a visit to her local Specsavers store.

The 68-year-old is relieved she went to the Abbeygate Centre opticians for a routine eye examination as the thoroughness and diligence in investigating an on-going complaint has saved her vision. 

Mrs Kundl from the Parkhill area of Arbroath, has been a customer of Specsavers in Arbroath since 2004 and has always trusted staff there with her eye care.  She suffered from headaches which for many years were getting progressively worse and routinely took painkillers to help ease the pain.  Mrs Kundl had an eye examination as she was also aware that she could not see very well in one direction. 

A Specsavers optometrist carried out the consultation and full eye examination using the latest technology designed to detect any trace of abnormality. The examination identified some anomalies that were symptomatic of pressure on the optic nerve which required further investigation - to this end - Mrs Kundl was referred to an eye specialist who confirmed a pituitary tumour.

Store director Kenny Johnston comments: 'I am really proud of the quality and thoroughness our eye examinations offer.  Pituitary tumours are difficult to identify and they often remain undiagnosed.  As the pituitary gland, which is roughly the size of a pea, is situated near the optic nerve and any tumour mass that grows can press on the optic nerve and cause persistent headaches and loss of vision which gets worse as the tumour grows. 

'We have a wide range of tests available that we can perform in order to help investigate the causes of visual problems and are best placed to refer to the right person be that your GP or, in Mrs Kundls' case, directly to Ninewells Hospital who successfully removed the tumour through surgery, alleviating the headaches and improving the quality of her peripheral vision which we are delighted about.'

Pituitary tumours can also have some other nasty side effects as the pituitary gland is directly connected to the Central Nervous System but thankfully most are benign as was the case for Mrs Kundl so there is no chance of secondary tumours growing in the brain.

Mrs Kundl continued:  'After a very thorough eye examination and a few additional tests which were performed due to my headaches, I was referred to Ninewells Hospital by Specsavers and had an MRI scan which indicated a pituitary gland tumour covering most of my brain and had to have a craniotomy to remove most of the tumour.  Post surgery, my consultant said I had developed a rare form of diabetes called cranium diabetes insipidus but thankfully, due to referral by Specsavers, I have avoided epilepsy and complete loss of vision. 

'I'm extremely grateful to Specsavers in Arbroath for the team's thoroughness and diligence in getting to the bottom of my problems and sending me on the right channel to recovery.  My surgery went well and I continue to be monitored by Specsavers and the Hospital.'

Specsavers in Arbroath would advise anyone who suffers from persistent headaches or feels that their peripheral awareness is reduced, to see their optician and GP. 

'Sometimes a pill isn't the solution to a headache and catching these symptoms at an early stage gives the best chance of a positive outcome.' 

Mr Johnston concludes:  'We're not for one second saying every headache is a tumour, but headaches and reduced vision are also symptoms of a wide range of eye problems which are far less sinister and more easily treatable.'




Specsavers notes to editors                                                                                

  • Specsavers was founded by Doug and Dame Mary Perkins in 1984 and is now the largest privately owned opticians in the world
  • The couple still run the company, along with their three children. Their eldest son John is joint managing director
  • Specsavers has more than 1,380 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain, Australia and New Zealand.
  • Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group is forecast to reach a record £1.4 billion in 2009
  • Specsavers optical stores and hearing centres are owned and run by joint venture or franchise partners.
  • Specsavers employs more than 26,000 staff
  • Specsavers was voted Britain's most trusted brand of opticians for the eighth year running by Reader's Digest in 2009
  • Greater than one in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers * - nine and a half million glasses were exported from the warehouse to stores in 2008
  • Specsavers is the largest retail provider of home delivery contact lenses in Europe and one of the top two retail suppliers of continuous wear lenses in the world
  • Specsavers is now the largest retail dispenser of digital hearing aids in the UK and offer a hearing service from more than 400 locations.
  • Specsavers supports numerous optical and hearing charities, including Diabetes UK, for whom they have raised more than £250,000 to fund research into diabetic retinopathy
  • Since 2003 more than a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas for use in developing countries


*GfK Home Audit (Dec 2008)