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Second Opinion Saves Local Womans Life

Friday, 30 January 2009

A routine eye examination at Specsavers in Teignmouth saved the life of Jasmin Harris after the optometrist spotted signs of a brain tumour.

But the 19 year old specs wearer had only visited the store in Bank Street to get a second opinion after an initial appointment at another opticians found nothing to be irregular. Jasmin booked her first eye examination after experiencing severe headaches, loss of balance, blurred vision, tinnitus and other symptoms. But after the check up she was just advised to rest her eyes. However, when this didn't work Jasmin decided to book in for another eye examination at Specsavers.

During the appointment, optometrist and Teignmouth store director, Simon Simmonds noticed that her optic nerve was raised with enlarged blind spots.

Simon immediately referred Jasmin to the Torbay Hospital eye clinic where doctors conducted CT and MRI scans, as well as two lumbar punctures. The tests showed that she was suffering from benign intracranial pressure. The rare condition, which effects only one in 100,000 people, is caused by a build up of Cerebral Spinal Fluid (CSF) in the brain. This puts pressure on the brain and eyes, which is what had caused Jasmin's symptoms including her raised optic nerves. If left unchecked, the build up of CSF could have become fatal.

Jasmin says: 'I am so grateful to Specsavers for diagnosing my condition. Living with the constant headaches and other symptoms was awful. What's more scary is that if I hadn't gone to Specsavers, I could have died. I would tell anyone to get a second opinion if they are not entirely convinced with a diagnosis as it really could save their life.'

Simon says: 'The optic nerve transmits signals from the eye to the brain, so any condition that affects it can be very serious.

'We're glad to have been able to help Jasmin and hope that this highlights the importance of regular eye exams. Benign intracranial pressure is a fairly rare condition but can be fatal.

'Looking into your eyes can allow your optician to spot the early signs of a wide range of conditions including brain tumours and so should be part of your general health care routine.'

For an appointment or for more information please pop in to the store, at 4 Bank Street, Teignmouth, TQ14 8AL, call 01626 870 513 or visit www.specsavers.co.uk.  

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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 1,060 stores throughout the UK, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Denmark, Spain and Australia
  • Annual turnover for the Specsavers Group is forecast to reach a record £1.05 billion for the financial year 2008/9
  • The group plans to continue its successful international expansion by opening stores in New Zealand
  • 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 seventh year running by Reader's Digest in 2008
  • One in three people who wear glasses in the UK buy them from Specsavers Opticians - eight and a half million glasses were sold during 2007
  • 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 will offer a hearing service from more than 400 locations by the end of 2008
  • 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 a quarter of a million glasses have been collected and recycled by Specsavers stores for Vision Aid Overseas for use in developing countries