A trip to the optometrist may have just saved Karly Cox’s life.
Image source: Kennedy News
When the UK mum-of-four noticed she was getting consistent headaches, she primarily put it down to having poor vision. However, at her most recent routine eye check-up on January 12, her optometrist observed something unusual – a shadow over her left eye.
The shadow turned out to be a tumour.
Image source: Kennedy News
As reported in the Herald Sun, 33-year-old Karly was immediately referred to the hospital where she was then diagnosed with ocular melanoma – an extremely rare form of cancer that affects the eye. While it is rare, it is the most common primary cancer of the eye in adults.
Karly is now urging people to get routine eye examinations, as they can help to detect early signs of serious eye diseases. During her test, Karly’s optometrist was able to identify the tumour more clearly through an Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) scan.
“They offered me the extra health eye check and I went with it,” Karly told the Herald Sun.
“She brought up pictures on the screen and at first we thought it was just a shadow. It wasn’t until we looked at it closely and she was like, ‘Oh, it’s not a shadow’.
“Having that eye test pretty much saved my life.
“Make sure that when you go and get your eyes tested, that you have that extra test because if I didn’t have it, then I wouldn’t have even known, and it would have been a lot worse because I would have lost my eye.
“I definitely caught it just in the nick of time and they told me I was lucky because usually people my age don’t get it, it’s usually 65 and over.”
According to Optometry Australia’s 2020 Vision Index, 26 per cent of Australians have never visited an optometrist for an eye examination because they believe their vision is perfect.
Though, as it’s clear in Karly’s case, an optometrist doesn’t just determine whether or not you need glasses. They can also uncover secrets about your eye health and general health.
Optometry Australia’s Professional Services Advisor Dom Willson says that visiting an optometrist for a comprehensive eye examination is the easiest way you can be sure that your eyes are healthy.
“You may think that your vision is fine, but an eye test can make sure that nothing serious is going on, as well as prevent future vision loss,” Willson said.
“Optometrists offer different tests that can help to diagnose various eye conditions. Karly’s optometrist detected something was wrong, and offered the extra OCT scan which probably then confirmed their suspicions.
“It’s important to trust your optometrist whose main priority is your eye health. In Karly’s case, it sounds as if visiting her optometrist saved her life.”
To find an optometrist near you, click here.