A great-grandmother's sight was saved after an optician spotted a dangerous rare condition.
Shelia Gibbons, 67 of Wheelers Farm Gardens in North Weald Bassett, visited the Specsavers store in Epping after experiencing head and eye pain.
Optometrist Victoria Kinsley had to conduct a thorough examination in order to identify the source of the pain.
Ms Kinsley said: "Mrs Gibbons’ description of her headaches suggested there may have been a build-up of pressure.
"I used a slit lamp to view the eye and noticed that the angle in which fluid drains out of the eye was almost completely closed which was causing pressure to build up in the eye to a dangerous level.
"I then used an ophthalmoscope, which we use to see into a person’s eyes, and noticed the nerve at the back of Mrs Gibbons’ left eye was very swollen."
Ms Kinsley immediately arranged an emergency appointment at Princess Alexandra Hospital and after a number of tests, Mrs Gibbons was diagnosed with acute angle-closure glaucoma, a rare condition which, if left untreated, can lead to permanent sight loss.
The great-grandmother was rushed into surgery where they used a laser to drain the fluid and relieve the pressure.
Mrs Gibbons said: “I knew something wasn’t right but I didn’t for a second think that I was in danger of permanently losing the vision in my eye.
“The consultant at the hospital told me that if I had been admitted an hour later my sight would have been permanently damaged. I’m very thankful for the astute and quick work of Victoria at Specsavers as she undoubtedly saved my sight.”