However, results from his eye test revealed that he had iritis, an inflammation in his eye which if left untreated could have left the teenager blind in one of his eyes. Simmons Optometrist discovered that the cause of this was juvenile arthritis.
Once the teenager was told that he was at risk of going blind in one eye he rushed straight to casualty where he received steroid eye drops to maintain the inflammation in his eye. Alex now goes to the Leicester Royal Infirmary a few times a year to have medication to prevent the arthritis from getting any worse.
Alex’s mom, Jane said: “There is no doubt that had we put off this eye examination longer than his regular check he could have developed long term complications that could have led to loss of sight in that eye.”
Jane was quick to praise the staff at Simmons Optometrist for their specialist care and attention.
Mrs Macnaughton added: “We have had an extremely lucky escape and I just want parents out there to be aware that eye examinations for children are free and the importance of their sight, priceless.”
Mrs Macnaughton said that Alex suffers from knee pains and swelling, which has been caused by growing pains.
Thanks to Simmons, Alex now sees a pediatric rheumatologist and takes anti- inflammatory drugs to help manage his arthritis.
Alex said: “I had no idea about the condition, I wasn’t in any pain or discomfort. I just thought I was going for a regular check-up. It’s been annoying having to go to so many hospital appointments but I’m on the right medication now so when my knee swells I know what it is.”
It would have not been possible to discover that Alex had iritis without the use of the slit lamp and a microscope which was used to examine his eye.
James Alexander, the Optometrist who owns the Simmons practice, said: “We have the highest standards of care at Simmons and believe that if the technology is available then we must endeavor to provide it for all our patients, both children and adults.
James added:“Regular eye check-ups are important not just for our eye health but to monitor our overall health.”