Mother thanks optometrist who spotted tumour signs in routine eye check

A MOTHER has thanked an eagle-eyed optometrist who spotted signs of tumour in her brain during a routine check-up.

Cristina Santos, 42, was undergoing an eye test at JI Partridge, in Chadwell Heath, when Deepal Kothari noticed her optic nerves were swollen.

The abnormality “rang alarm bells”, said Mr Kothari.

“It doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a tumour,” he said, “but it is a worrying sign so I told her it could be something serious and said she should go straight to hospital.”

Cristina, of Donald Drive, Chadwell Heath, took his advice and went to Queen’s Hospital in Rom Valley Way, Romford, the same day.

MRI scans revealed a 2cm wide benign tumour at the back of her head.

Doctors decided not to remove it as an operation on that part of her brain could kill her, but now they are aware of the tumour they can monitor it at regular check-ups to ensure it is not putting pressure on other parts of her brain.

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Cristina, a chef and married mother-of-two, returned to the opticians this month – a year on from the discovery – to thank Mr Kothari.

“I’m so grateful to him for spotting it. Apparently it’s not an easy thing to detect – everyone at the eye clinic I went to said he must be a very good optometrist,” she said. “If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have had a clue about the tumour. Though it is still there and is growing a bit at least now they can keep an eye on it.”

Mr Kothari, who has spotted signs of a tumour in a patient’s eyes on one previous occasion, recommends everyone go for regular eye tests.

“An eye test is not just about checking your vision – it’s an important health check too. As well as tumours, eye-tests can detect diabetes, high blood pressure and eye diseases such a glaucoma,” he said.

People under 70 should visit an optometrist every two years and those over 70, plus diabetes and eye disease sufferers, once a year, he added.