PROMPT actions from a Ludlow optometrist has ensured that a schoolboy's sight was not permanently damaged after he experienced painful ulcers.

Mum Kayleigh knew she needed to get Blake Harrington's eyes checked out urgently when his school contacted her saying that the eight-year-old was complaining of feeling unwell and holding his head in pain.

He was given an appointment that same day by Specsavers Ludlow, where after tests, optometrist Sophie Wragg diagnosed two dendritic ulcers in his right eye and referred him to eye casualty at Hereford County Hospital for treatment.

"Blake had been complaining of a pain behind his eye for several days and I initially thought it could be a migraine and gave him paracetamol," said Kayleigh. 

"But when his school rang to say he was feeling unwell, I realised it could be something more serious and gave Specsavers a call.

"They told me to bring him in straightaway and, after looking in his eyes, Sophie immediately identified the corneal ulcers and told me to take him straight to hospital. She told me the pain he’d been feeling would have been bad and how brave he’d been to put up with it."

Doctors saw Blake the next day and confirmed the presence of the dendritic ulcers. He was given a course of antiviral eye drops for two weeks and has now made a good recovery.

Kayleigh added: "They explained it is possible that Blake could get ulcers again, which is very worrying, however he hasn’t had any problems since his check-up two weeks later.

"I cannot thank Sophie and everyone who dealt with Blake at Specsavers enough, they were so good with him. If they hadn’t diagnosed it so quickly the hospital told us it could have affected Blake’s eyesight but fortunately, he has had no lasting problems."

Dendritic ulcers are caused by the Herpes simplex type 1 virus and affect the cornea. Symptoms can include pain, irritation, sensitivity to bright light, watering, blurry vision, and redness. If left untreated, they can scar of the cornea, causing it to become cloudy.

"It was great that we were able to diagnose the problem quickly so Blake could be treated as soon as possible,’ said Sophie, who is optical director at Specsavers Ludlow.

"Although he is only a young boy, I was amazed by how well he was coping with his pain levels given the severity of his corneal ulcer.

"I thought he was exceptionally brave. We are delighted he has made a good recovery and is feeling better."