Musician praises opticians following sight-saving treatment

Joceline Reeve, 61, smiling and wearing a black fasinator

Joceline Reeve, 61, first contacted her opticians in October 2020 - Credit: SPECSAVERS

A musician from Norwich has praised the efforts of opticians who saved her from potentially permanent sight loss during lockdown. 

Joceline Reeve, 61, first contacted her opticians in October 2020 after suffering from discomfort in her right eye for a few weeks.  

At first she suspected it was an eye infection, as she’d had a history of similar problems before. However, following a series of consultations with a doctor and prescribed medication, her symptoms were not improving. That is when she decided to contact her local opticians. 

She said: “My right eye has always been prone to styes and infections, so when I started to experience a little pain and redness, I’d assumed it’d be another problem that some antibiotic eye-drops would quickly fix. But, after multiple calls to the doctor and a number of different eye-drop solutions, I found my eye was actually getting worse. 

"Two weeks on, my vision was getting increasingly cloudy and by the time I got to the opticians, I could only really sense the light in my right eye.” 

Ms Reeve was given an emergency appointment with optometrist Usmaan Saleem.

Optometrist Usmaan Saleem, of Specsavers in Fakenham

Optometrist Usmaan Saleem, of Specsavers in Fakenham - Credit: SPECSAVERS

Mr Saleem, who is based at Specsavers in Fakenham, said: “When Joceline explained her symptoms and that nothing was soothing them, some alarm bells started ringing. At the least, it indicated some stronger steroid medication might be necessary.

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"But, given symptoms of red eyes and a pre-existing condition of glaucoma, I knew it could be sight threatening. 

"Some initial testing had shown that not only had Joceline’s vision dropped to the bare minimum standard for driving, but I was unable to gauge any pressure readings on Joceline’s right eye at all, as her eyelids were so swollen. This indicated a major clinical problem.” 

Mr Saleem suspected uveitis, a form of eye inflammation which, if left untreated, can lead to side effects including cataracts, macular swelling, and permanent deterioration in vision.  

He referred Ms Reeve for urgent treatment at the Norfolk and Norwich Emergency Eye Clinic immediately, where she was treated for hypertensive uveitis on the same day. 

She added: “If not dealt with quickly, [this] would have left me with a chronic pain and risk of permanent sight loss.  

"I don’t think there are words to be thankful enough that I got the appointment at the right time.”

A post-treatment check-up in January showed Ms Reeve's eye is now recovering well and her vision is better than it was before.