BRIAN Poole and Keith Bullock are two men from the same town who might have died by now if not for one thing in common - an unusual problem with their sight.

The pair both suffered a short loss of sight in one eye. It didn’t last long and its the sort of thing you might to just shrug off.

But Brian, 80, and Keith, 72, both from Ledbury, decided to get it checked out. It may well have saved their lives.

For John Roberts, the optician at the town’s Specsavers in Homend, thought they both might have a condition called Amaurosis Fugax - which leads to temporary loss of sight described as ‘like a shutter coming down into the field of vision.’

The condition is often related to a blockage in the carotid artery which, if undiagnosed, can lead to a stroke and death.

John made immediate referrals for both men to Hereford County Hospital where they were both diagnosed with blocked arteries.

They have each had surgery and are on medication to avoid a repeat.

John said: "Brian and Keith visited the store within a few weeks of each other with the same symptoms.

“Amaurosis Fugax is usually an indicator of something more serious. I’ve never seen a case of it before, so it was highly unusual to then have two in the space of a few weeks.

“It shows that you should never ignore any symptoms or problems with your sight, as they can indicate an underlying issue with your health.’

"I am so grateful to John," said Brian. “I’m really pleased I did not delay a trip to Specsavers.”

Keith said: “My artery was 99 per cent blocked and I was at high risk of stroke. I feel really lucky. I’m now on the mend and want to thank Specsavers and the doctors who treated me."