‘Optician spotted my eye cancer’

Barry Hall (right) with Mark Huddart, director optometrist at Specsavers.
Barry Hall (right) with Mark Huddart, director optometrist at Specsavers.

A ROUTINE eye test for a dad-of-three led to an optician spotting tell-tale signs that he had an eye tumour.

Barry Hall’s sight has been saved thanks to a trip to his local Specsavers store.

The 50-year-old went to the shop to buy a pair of prescription safety goggles and was completely unaware that he had the tumour, as he had not displayed any symptoms.

Mark Huddart, director optometrist at Peterlee Specsavers, spotted something untoward during the examination and immediately referred Barry to the Sunderland Eye Infirmary.

After an ultrasound and further examinations, Barry was diagnosed with an eye tumour, which medics say could have been very serious if left undetected.

He was then referred to The Liverpool Ocular Oncology Centre for treatment.

Barry is now on his way to a full recovery, but must attend the hospital regularly for check-ups.

Barry, who lives in Peterlee, said: “Thanks to Specsavers my tumour was caught in good time and I have been able to make a full recovery.

“I would urge everyone to have regular eye tests.

“I’m so glad I went to Specsavers, I would never have gone to the doctor as I didn’t think there was anything wrong.

“They saved my sight and for that I’ll always be grateful.”

He explained how what he thought was going to be a standard appointment turned into something of more concern.

“I went into Specsavers for safety goggles – I had no negative symptoms so did not expect anything out of the ordinary,” he said.

“During my appointment I knew there was something wrong but Mark, the optometrist, was very calm, which in turn kept me calm.

“He told me that I had a shadow behind my eye and he wanted me to get it checked out at the hospital immediately.

“Mark referred me to the Sunderland Eye Infirmary for a specialist to have a look.”

He thanked Specsavers staff for the level of care of received.

Mr Huddart said: “Eye tests can pick up a range of issues, so when Barry came to see me I knew something wasn’t quite right and advised he be seen by a specialist as soon as possible.

“Circumstances such as these highlight the importance of frequent eye appointments as part of their regular healthcare routine.

“We’re all very glad that Mr Hall is on his way to a full recovery and that we could help.”