Optometrists’ vital role in stroke prevention
Author: Yiannis Kotoulas
The Stroke Association has highlighted the role that optometrists can play in spotting the signs of a stroke.
Sudden loss or blurring of vision can be a symptom of a transient ischaemic attack (TIA), sometimes known as a mini-stroke. People that experience TIAs are at increased risk of having a full stroke if they do not receive medical attention.
Specsavers has publicised a number of instances where optometrists have provided timely referrals to hospital. In one case, 65-year-old NHS worker Pam Humphries noticed a sudden loss of vision when she was in the supermarket.
Humphries immediately contacted Manish Soni, ophthalmic director at Specsavers in Aldershot, (both pictured above) who detected significant peripheral vision loss and referred her to the eye department at Frimley Park Hospital. Doctors at the hospital diagnosed a stroke and discovered a blood clot on the brain. Blood thinning medicine was prescribed, ultimately saving her life.
Chief executive of the Stroke Association, Juliet Bouverie, commented: ‘It’s always important to remember that a stroke is a medical emergency. The quicker you’re diagnosed and treated for a stroke, the better your chances of making a good recovery.’