Amber Carter (right) with Anna Lewin, Optometrist at Haine & Smith

Eye test saved my life

A young woman from Chippenham is urging others to visit an optician after a routine eye examination resulted in her undergoing emergency surgery to remove a brain tumour.

Amber Carter, 23, booked an eye examination at the Chippenham practice of Haine & Smith Opticians back in October after feeling seriously unwell for several months. Miss Carter, who had been suffering from symptoms including sickness and severe headaches, explains: “My GP suggested I saw an optician as I might need glasses. I was so desperate I booked an eye test with Haine & Smith straight away. The optician gave me an urgent referral to the Royal United Hospital in Bath and the next day I had an 8 hour operation to remove a benign Grade 1 tumour.”

Miss Carter was examined by Optometrist, Anna Lewin who detected that the optic nerves in both her eyes appeared swollen. Ms Lewin, who has been with Haine & Smith for over 10 years, said: “You do see swelling of the optic nerves occasionally and whilst often there is another explanation, you also know there’s a chance of it being a tumour which is why I referred Amber immediately.”

Thankfully Miss Carter’s tumour wasn’t found to be cancerous and she is now recovering well after her operation.  Miss Carter, who normally works as Assistant Manager at the Perfume Shop in Bath said: “When I came round from surgery I had right sided weakness, but thanks to my Physio sessions three times a week it is now getting easier to walk again.”

“It all happened so fast. I went for my eye test on Monday and the operation happened on Tuesday, which was good really as I didn’t have time to think about it. I’m so grateful I saw Ms Lewin, I keep telling all my friends they should go and have an eye test.”

Amber Carter Video Clip Eye test saved my life

Amber talks about how the eye test saved her life