A MOTHER of two from Tenby has thanked her local optician after a check-up helped to detect a potentially sight-threatening brain tumour.

Peta Spiller, 37, visited her doctor after experiencing a sudden loss of vision and was advised to contact Specsavers to help identify the root cause of her change in vision.

Specsavers in Pembroke Dock is accredited to deliver Wales Eye Care Services (WECS), meaning it is eligible to deliver primary eyecare services on behalf of the NHS in the form of targeted clinical tests.

Prior to her loss of vision, Mrs Spiller had worn glasses for a number of years and had experienced sinus problems which she thought may have been responsible for the sudden deterioration in her sight.

Following a two-hour test at Specsavers, Gary Owen, store director and the optician who tested Mrs Spiller, contacted a hospital-based ophthalmologist and arranged an emergency appointment for her that day. Mrs Spiller had a CT scan and it was discovered that she had a lump on her brain.

She was transferred to the neurological ward in Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales which confirmed that Mrs Spiller was suffering from a pituitary tumour.

The pituitary gland sits at the base of the brain and tumours that develop in this area are normally benign but swelling can put pressure on the optic nerve, causing sudden and substantial loss of vision.

Mrs Spiller underwent three hours of surgery to remove the tumour. Her eyesight returned to normal within 48 hours of her operation, but she remained in a high-dependency ward for four days and was then transferred to the neurology ward for a further four days.

Mrs Spiller now takes medication, and will do for the foreseeable future, to replace the hormones that were previously created by the pituitary gland, but her sight has been fully restored.

Mrs Spiller said: ‘It was extremely frightening to suddenly lose my vision and my first instinct was to go to my doctor.

‘Looking back, I feel very fortunate that Specsavers could see me so quickly and carry out such an in-depth test, I don’t know what would have happened if I hadn’t had the test that day."

Gary Owen, director at Specsavers in Pembroke Dock, said: ‘Peta’s experience is an important example of why we must respond quickly to any changes in our sight and visit an optician, who has specialist and advanced knowledge of eye care.

‘On this occasion, Peta’s tumour was of such a size that it affected her vision, which obviously triggered her to visit us but not all eye-related conditions will have such obvious warning signs until they are at advanced stages.

‘Thankfully, most of the customers we see at Specsavers in Pembroke Dock are healthy and well, but at times we do see people with more serious conditions, which only highlights the importance of looking after your eye health. If you notice a change in your vision, our advice is to get in touch with your local optician straight away.’