Man almost loses sight after piece of metal gets stuck in eye

Dereham Specsavers store manager, Calum Barker, left, and staff, who helped Andrew Howe after he got

Dereham Specsavers store manager, Calum Barker, left, and staff, who helped Andrew Howe after he got a piece of metal stuck in his eye. Picture: Specsavers - Credit: Archant

A labourer from Dereham almost lost his sight after a piece of metal got stuck in his eye.

Andrew Howe, 65, woke up in pain and almost unable to see out of his left eye on Good Friday.

Mr Howe, a manual labourer who is already blind in his right eye, said: “I’d been experiencing trouble with my eye for a week or two before, but I didn’t want to worry yet as it wasn’t too painful.

“I knew something was wrong by Friday when I woke up. I’m already blind in one eye, and then the vision in my left eye had gotten so bad I could barely see two metres ahead.

“All I was left with was very limited, cloudy vision in one eye and I knew I had to call my optician.”

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Mr Howe got an emergency appointment at Dereham’s Specsavers, where optometrist, Nicola Cruickshank, made the unpleasant discovery.

She said: “I noticed immediately that Andrew’s cornea was very cloudy.

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“After a closer look, I could see a foreign object stuck very centrally in the middle of his eye.

It had become lodged so deep that we couldn’t remove it manually in store.”

Ms Cruickshank arranged for an appointment at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital later that day, where the piece of metal was removed.

Mr Howe said he wanted to thank everyone who had helped him avoid blindness.

He said: “I was seen at the hospital within two hours and, fortunately, they were able to remove the object before it got any worse.

“[Specsavers’] service was excellent and even on Easter Weekend, they managed to get me an appointment in-store as well as a referral to the hospital to receive treatment.”

The optician is closed for routine eye and hearing tests while the lockdown continues, but they are still open to provide essential care and to support key workers.

Dereham store manager, Calum Barker, said Mr Howe was definitely one such case.

He said: “It was an immediate cause for concern when Andrew explained that the sight in his left eye had deteriorated, particularly given he only had sight remaining in one eye.

“We knew he needed to be triaged and given an appointment with an optometrist as soon as possible.”

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