Crookston man urges eye checks

Jim Taggart
Jim Taggart

Southside father-of-one Jim Taggart is backing a new campaign by Optometry Scotland, after a very narrow escape which almost cost him his sight.

Jim, aged 55, a telecoms project manager, was rushed in to Gartnavel hospital as an emergency after one of his eyes began to bulge significantly. But a simple eye health check could have diagnosed the condition he suffers from and enabled him to have preventative treatment.

His nightmare began in his usual weekly fitness class. Halfway through one of the other participants noticed that his eye was drooping out of the socket. Jim took himself to Crookston medical centre and from there was taken as an emergency by ambulance to the Southern General Hospital where, after several tests and examinations, he was transferred to Gartnavel Hospital for a brain scan.

At Gartnavel Jim was diagnosed with glaucoma in both eyes.

Following his diagnosis Jim initially had to have eye drops in both eyes several times a day to relieve the pressure in his eyes. In April last year he had to undergo surgery in both eyes.

Jim said: “I’m off medicines totally and the pressure in both eyes is great. I would urge anyone to go to their local optometrist and have an eye health check. It could save you from everything I’ve been through.”

Jim is backing Optometry Scotland’s campaign to persuade people to go for regular checks.

Debbie McGill, of Optometry Scotland said: “We are fortunate in Scotland that eye health checks are funded by the government. Just go along to your local optometrist. The eye health check doesn’t just measure your vision for reading and distance, it can detect eye disease and underlying health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure.”