A PREGNANT Keighley woman who underwent emergency sight-saving treatment at Airedale Hospital is urging others to visit an optician immediately if they experience anything unusual with their eyes.

Sophie Maddocks visited the town’s Specsavers store when she suffered blurred vision, plus headaches and dizziness.

An optical coherence tomography (OCT) scan identified abnormalities, and the 24-year-old early years practitioner was immediately referred to eye specialists at Airedale Hospital with suspected optic swelling.

Tests revealed she had a condition known as idiopathic intracranial hypertension, which is associated with raised fluid pressure around the brain. If untreated, it can lead to permanent sight loss and even prove fatal.

Sophie underwent a lumbar puncture to relieve the pressure.

She pays tribute to optometrist and Specsavers’ Keighley store director Raj Gill – who carried out the initial examination – and issues a message to other pregnant women.

“I can’t thank Raj enough for immediately referring me to hospital,” she said.

“I was nervous about the potential severity of the diagnosis but the doctors were great, rushing me in for a lumbar puncture.

“Had it not been for the trip to the opticians and the resulting investigations at Airedale Hospital, the consequences could have been life-changing at best – or at worst, life-threatening. Doctors informed me that it could certainly have escalated to me losing my sight.”

She added: “I would recommend, without hesitation, that any pregnant woman who feels they are experiencing anything out of the ordinary with their eyes should go and get them tested immediately. It could not only protect your own health, but the health of your baby too.”

Mr Gill said he was delighted at the outcome.

“We were really pleased to hear that the treatment had gone well for Ms Maddocks and that the outcome had been extremely positive – the subsequent procedure was certainly sight-saving,” he added.

“It illustrates just how important it is to have regular eye examinations and more so an OCT scan.”

OCT scans enable an optician to look deeper into the eyes, identifying any issues early.

The NHS recommends people should have their eyes tested every two years, or more often if advised.

For some in eligible groups and where the test is considered clinically necessary, there is no charge.

A spokesman said: “Your eyes rarely hurt when something is wrong with them, so having regular eye tests is important to help detect potentially-harmful conditions.”

For more about eye care, visit nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/look-after-your-eyes.