A Lincolnshire mother who found out she had a brain tumour after a routine opticians appointment is encouraging people to get their eyes tested.
Mum-of-three Nicola Ferdinand, 41, went to a routine sight test at Specsaves in the Burghley Centre in Bourne.
The optometrist discovered that her optic nerve was slightly discoloured. She was examined by store director and optometrist Neil Stradling, who immediately found a worrying anomaly in her eye.
He referred Nicola to Peterborough Hospital, where an MRI revealed she had a possible meningioma tumour in her brain.
After further scans at the specialist clinic at Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge she was diagnosed with an Optic Nerve Sheath Meningioma on her left nerve. She was also diagnosed with three other meningioma tumours around her brain.
She then received radiotherapy treatment for six weeks to stop the optic nerve tumour from growing any further and to help relieve the pressure on her optic nerve which prevented her losing her sight.
Nicola said: “It was a total shock. I wasn’t expecting anything so serious. I’m hugely grateful to Neil at Specsavers – without his quick actions and referrals it could have been a lot worse.
“The radiotherapy was successful in treating the optic meningioma, but in the process, it damaged the nerve so I have now lost some peripheral vision. With the other three tumours, I am having yearly MRI scans to check that they aren’t causing a problem.
“I would encourage everyone to go and have their eyes tested. It helped to pick up an anomaly in my eye in the early stages which allowed me to get treatment.”
Neil added: “We have very sophisticated optical technology which we can use during an eye test which produces a structural scan of the eye.
“Nicola’s test results showed a round black shape around the optic nerve on her left eye. From experience this is often the sign of a much more serious problem in the head or brain that manifests itself as a problem in the eye, so I immediately referred her to hospital.
“We’re very pleased to hear that Nicola is on the mend and her prognosis is good. It was a life-changing diagnosis and our very best wishes go out to her and her family.
“I would echo Nicola’s encouragement for everyone to make sure that they are having their eyes tested regularly. We recommend that you do this every two years, however if you’re experiencing any symptoms, make sure that you book in as soon as possible. It could be life-saving.”