The life of a Burnham-On-Sea man has been saved thanks to an eye test at a town centre opticians.

Robert Reading from Burnham had been suffering from dizzy spells and episodes of temporary blurred vision when his daughter Leah recommended he take an eye test, which proved to be lifesaving.

Robert, 62, was feeling tired and unwell and had experienced four blackouts. His daughter Leah insisted on him to have an eye test.

Optician Mr. Rama Venkat at Specsavers in Burnham-On-Sea High Street did not hesitate to stay behind and see Mr Reading for an urgent eye test, as he was concerned by his symptoms.

Mr Rama Venkat says: “I felt it was my professional duty to examine Mr Reading as soon as possible. I hence tested him urgently as an extra patient at the end of my long day.”

“I performed a dilated eye examination and used a Volk lens to examine the retina of Mr Reading’s’ eyes. During the examination I noticed significant narrowing of the blood vessels of the retina, which prompted me to take immediate action.”

Rama urgently referred Mr Reading to his GP on the Friday and by Monday, Robert had blood tests and was referred the same day to Musgrove Park Hospital for an ultrasound. The tests confirmed that there was a blockage in the carotid artery that transported blood to his eye and the brain.

Robert was admitted immediately for a life-saving operation, with the artery cut with a laser and clamped. A stent was also inserted into the artery to prevent the blockage spreading into his brain.

The surgeons had commented that carotid artery blockage, if untreated, could lead to serious conditions such as a stroke and sudden loss of vision.

The operation was a success and Robert was discharged with medication to aid with the recovery process.

“The prompt action from Rama Venkat was undoubtedly a huge factor in my speedy diagnosis and treatment, and for that I would be most grateful,” says Robert.

“I am now 90% recovered thanks to the care and attention I received from Rama and the hospital, which meant the blockage in my carotid artery was picked up in time to be treated. I also had a slight blockage on the left side but that was treated with medication.”

“My daughter Leah works at Specsavers in Burnham-On-Sea and my experience has shown how right she was in telling me about the importance of an eye examination in checking so much more than just your eye sight.”

Leah adds: “I can’t thank Rama enough. He literally saved my dad’s life. Without his insistence on an immediate eye test, our story could have ended very differently. I always knew how important an eye test was from my experience working at Specsavers Burnham-On-Sea but now I have personal experience.”