The mother of two was planning to buy prescription sunglasses before the holiday. When Ann Flinn went for an eye exam, the opticians found something suspicious in her eye. “It saved my life, I could lose my health and my eyesight,” says the woman who told her story to encourage other people to get eye checkups.
“It was a shock to me”
“I needed new sunglasses. Two years have passed since my last eye examination, and since I needed prescription glasses, I went to see an optician,” the woman told metro.co.uk.
The optician found swelling in her optic nerve. He referred the 54-year-old to the hospital for further tests, and an MRI revealed a shocking diagnosis – Ann had a brain tumor. Doctors suspected it was a meningioma – a noncancerous tumor in the membranes covering the brain.
“The eye examination potentially saved my life because anything could have happened, and if it did not save my life, it certainly saved my eyesight. I was in danger of seizures because of the swelling.”
A tumor the size of a grape
Only a week after the scan revealed a grape-sized tumor, Ann underwent surgery. “I had a swollen brain that was causing my optic nerve to swell.” The woman heard from the radiologist who was carrying out the examination that it was probably a meningioma and that Ann should go to the hospital as soon as possible.
“It was just a shock, I felt fine, I had no symptoms.”
“It wasn’t until three days after the surgery that I realized how serious this was and what I was just going through.”
There are still months of convalescence ahead of Ann, but she should be fully recovered in 12 months.
“We women keep postponing checkups”
Now that Ann has gone through the worst, she wants to make others aware that eye tests can do much more than just pinpoint a possible defect.
“I was warned it might be cancer because of where the tumor was located. Doctors were 90 percent sure it was a meningioma.”
“Don’t put these things off until later. We women do this all the time. A few of my friends are still putting off smear tests“- emphasizes Ann.” Eye examinations are not as trivial as people think. They are very important. “
“Ann’s story shows why a routine eye exam every two years is so important. Many people believe that eye examinations are only for people who need – or may need – glasses, but they are more than that. They provide an overview of your overall health, “explains Specsavers director of clinical services, Giles Edmonds.” In rare cases, such as Ann, they can help detect serious health problems, but they can also detect other diseases such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure or glaucoma. Cases like this show the importance of eye testing. “
And when was the last time you had an eye exam?
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