Freak windsurfing accident left woman with ‘holes in her eyes’
A woman has described the terror of waking up after a horrific windsurfing accident that left her with holes in her eyes. Nicky Shipp’s holiday to Greece turned into a nightmare following the freak occurence.
The 63-year-old was windsurfing when she fell into the water and hit her head. The impact ripped two holes in her right eye, the Manchester Evening News reported.
She told the paper that when she woke up with brown floaters in her eyes a week later, she knew something was seriously wrong. She said: “The mast landed on my head with a bad bang. A week later, I noticed star dust in my eyes. The next day, I woke up and I had flashing lights.”
Upon her arrival back home in the UK the Surrey woman booked herself an appointment with an optician right away. After various scans and hospital visits, it was found that she had holes in her retina – the layer at the back of her eye.
The injury could have caused blurred vision and permanent sight issues if left untreated so she had surgery to fix the holes. However, she developed cataracts – when lenses cloud over – in both eyes.
She opted to leave the condition alone for four years until she was prompted into action after a terrifying drive home in the dark in December last year. She said: ““I decided to go on the back roads to avoid the traffic but soon realised that I couldn’t differentiate between the tarmac and the grass at the side of the road.”
Nicky continued: ““I was driving at 20mph; I just wanted to get home as safely as possible. I realised that I had to do something about my cataracts – I had become reticent about driving at night and it was starting to have a detrimental impact on my life.”
She approached Manchester hospital Optegra Eye Hospital and had her cataracts removed. Thankfully, her eyesight has returned to normal.
To mark National Eye Health Week (September 19 – 25) Professor Bernie Chang, consultant ophthalmic surgeon at Optegra and president of the Royal College of Ophthalmologists has offered his advice on what to do if we experience changes in our eyes. He said: “Most of the symptoms we notice in our eyes will be straightforward and easy to treat, but some may be ‘red flags’ indicating a more serious underlying condition that needs urgent medical attention and certainly should not be ignored.
“You should go to your local optician as soon as possible if you experience symptoms such as flashing lights, floaters, blurring of central vision, haloes and persistent pain, redness or itching. Other symptoms such as dry eyes or dark circles could be due to lifestyle factors such as lack of sleep or eye strain. You should still see a professional, especially if your eyes are causing you problems or you have concerns, but they are not a medical emergency.
“More worryingly, there are some conditions such as AMD (age-related macular degeneration) and glaucoma that may not have any symptoms at all in the first stages, yet that is the optimum time to start treatment. This is why a regular eye check, every two years, is essential. This simple test not only ensures you can see as well as possible – with a prescription for glasses or contacts if needed – but also, vitally, checks on the health of your eyes to ensure sight-threatening conditions can be successfully treated at an early stage.”
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