Two Abingdon customers have had their sight saved by Specsavers opticians, who diagnosed the same serious retinal detachments for both patients, before permanent vision damage occurred.

Sarah Johnson and Howard Carter were both treated at John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford after an urgent referral from optometrists Sumaira Shabir and Atul Vadgama, respectively.

Garage owner Mr Carter, 64, experienced vision loss in his right eye after seeing floaters while on holiday.

He described the experience as "an oil slick right across my eye".

Oxford Mail: Atul VadgamaAtul Vadgama (Image: Specsavers)

Mr Vadgama recognised the signs of a detached retina and arranged an urgent hospital referral.

Mr Vadgama, the ophthalmic director at Abingdon Specsavers, used digital retinal photography and regular ophthalmoscopy to detect the detachment.

He said: "If he had not been referred swiftly to the eye hospital he would have suffered further or complete vision loss, so it was fortunate we caught it in time."

Following laser treatment at the hospital, Mr Carter said: "I didn’t know whether I would lose the sight in that eye so I was very relieved when the consultant told me they could treat my eye."

"I made sure I thanked Atul for his prompt diagnosis and referral. It’s no exaggeration to say he helped save my sight in that eye and for that I am very grateful."

Oxford Mail: Sumaira ShabirSumaira Shabir (Image: Specsavers)

Sarah Johnson, 57, consulted Ms Shabir when she started to see floaters and flashes.

Examination revealed a bleed behind Ms Johnson's right eye, which could potentially indicate a retina detachment.

The lead optometrist sent Ms Johnson immediately to the John Radcliffe Hospital, where the diagnosis was confirmed and treated using eye drops.

Ms Johnson said: "I am aware that it could have been much worse if Sumaira hadn’t spotted it when she did and sent me for treatment, and I am extremely grateful to her for that."

"If she hadn’t been so diligent and thorough in checking my eyes, the outcome could have been a lot more serious."

Ms Shabir said: "When I noticed the bleed, I knew it was important she got it checked out at hospital because this can lead to a detachment and that is serious."

"The treatment Sarah has had has worked well though and when I saw her afterwards, her eye had healed really well."

Retinal tears and detachments can occur at any age but are more prevalent in people over 40, the very short-sighted, those who've undergone cataract surgery, have suffered an eye injury or those with a familial history of retinal detachment.

To schedule a sight or hearing test, contact Specsavers Abingdon at 01235 330412 or visit their website.