A FATHER of two says he owes his sight to the sharp eyes and skills of an optician in Skipton.

If Gavin Jolly had not been advised to seek treatment at Airedale General Hospital - he underwent a lumber puncture to relieve pressure on his brain - he could have lost his vision.

Optometrist Akbar Badshah at John Exley opticians in Otley Street spotted there was something seriously wrong with the 39 year-old's eyes.

Gavin, of Mayfield Close, Glusburn, had visited with cloudy vision, he was struggling to distinguish between colours and he was suffering migraine.

"Akbar did lots of tests and looked at the back of my eyes and prescribed some drops in case it was an infection. But he stressed if it didn't get better I must get straight back to him.

"It only got worse and I went to see him again and he said I must get to hospital and he gave me an emergency referral to the GP. But the next day it was even worse," said Gavin, who has been diagnosed with idiopathic intracranial hypertension

"I arrived at Airedale 2.30pm and by 6.30pm I was panicking. I knew something wasn't right. It was a nightmare."

Doctors located swelling behind both his eyes and carried out an emergency scan which came back clear, much to his relief.

"I then had an MRI and then a lumber puncture to relieve the pressure on my back and on my eyes and I was then given steroids and other medication which I must be on for three months.

"If it hadn't been for Akbah being so vigilant and sending me for emergency treatment I believe I would have lost my sight." said Gavin.

"This has taught me a big lesson and other people should take note and make sure they have regular eye tests," he added.

A spokesperson for John Exley Optician, said Gavin visited with discomfort in his eye and an investigation led to an urgent referral and to hospital where he was admitted with bilateral swelling of his optic nerves.

Further investigation including lumbar puncture led to diagnosis of idiopathic raised intra-cranial pressure, which was treated successfully.

"An eye examination checks for so much more than the ocular pathology you would expect – it regularly finds raised blood pressure and high cholesterol levels, they can also indicate more serious issues such as brain tumours or stroke," she said.