Eye check-up saved my life, says pensioner

A pensioner has praised an optician whose examination he believes saved his life.

William Rolls, known as Billy to locals in his home town of Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, decided to visit his GP last year after experiencing persistent headaches and double vision.

The 73-year-old, a well-known figure in football refereeing circles around the town, was told his symptoms could be the result of sinus issues.

But when the married father-of-two’s condition worsened, he asked his local Specsavers if they could bring forward a prearranged appointment to get a second opinion – a move Mr Rolls believes saved his life.

Optometrist Luke McGregor carried out a number of examinations, then left the room to speak to the store director, at which point Mr Rolls began to fear something was seriously wrong.

On arrival, he said staff carried out an MRI scan which revealed a small burst blood vessel on the right-hand side of his head and neck caused by extremely high blood pressure.

The team prescribed Mr Rolls stronger medication for his blood pressure and recommended he stay in hospital for a few days to allow them to monitor any changes.

Mr Rolls said his story demonstrates the critical role optometrists can play in detecting life-threatening conditions, and he urged everyone to book regular eye check-ups.

“It saved my life and could save yours,” said Mr Rolls, whose vision has since been largely restored after being prescribed specialised glasses.

“I have such deep gratitude to Luke and the entire Specsavers team for giving me more time to spend with my family and friends.

“I can’t thank them enough.”

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