WHEN 55-year-old Carrol Dobbie started suffering mild headaches, she put them down to just another annoyance of getting older.
It was only after booking herself in for a routine eye check near her Corstorphine home that she became aware of the true severity of her condition.
In fact, rather than any benign ailment, Carrol’s pain was caused by a brain tumour and her trip to the optician potentially saved her life.
“Apart from the mild headaches, I wouldn’t have thought there was something wrong,” explained Carrol.
“People get headaches all the time, and I thought the pain in my left eye was normal for my age.”
Carrol, now medically retired, described how she thought little of pain in her left eye and mild headaches.
It was a visit to Vision Express at Tesco Corstorphine that set in motion events that led to Carrol’s true diagnosis.
She was examined by optometrist Maddiha Mahmood who raised concern and ultimately gave the emergency referral to Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion.
Operated by NHS Lothian and opened in 1969, it contains one in-patient ward, two day wards, outpatient clinics and an acute referral clinic for emergency treatment.
Carrol was examined at the renowned specialist centre in Chalmers Street where she was given the terrifying news she had a potentially life-threatening tumour.
Now Carrol is encouraging others to get regular eye tests after her urgent hospital referral saved her sight and potentially her life.
Carol is backing a campaign by Vision Express to raise awareness of the importance of good eye health.
“A check on my vision revealed pressure on the eye, which was then diagnosed as a tumour,” said Carrol. “I didn’t know a standard eye test could see things like that.”
While Carrol was having her left eye examined at the Princess Alexandra Eye Pavilion, a second brain tumour was detected.
“They found the second tumour as if by accident,” she added. “It’s attached to my skull, but a neurosurgeon is scheduled to remove it by the end of the year.
“I always thought tumours would present obvious symptoms, but that wasn’t the case for me. If it wasn’t for my routine eye test every two years, who knows when they would have been found.”
The eagle-eyed Vision Express optometrist at Tesco Corstorphine who came to Carrol’s rescue, Ms Mahmood, said she was glad Carrol is now getting the help she needs.
“I’m so glad that upon the discovery and prompt referral, Carrol is now in the process of receiving treatment for both of the tumours,” she said.
“Carrol is a lovely lady and I wish her the very best in her treatment and look forward to hearing from her in the future.
“An eye examination is invaluable for assessing visual problems, as well as any neurological symptoms, such as those which Carrol was experiencing.”